Tips for speakers
The Directorate General for Interpretation of the European Commission has collected experience over many years. Our interpreters have prepared a few tips for speakers in meetings with interpretation. You can, if you wish, print [213 KB] a PDF brochure with this information.
When you are given the floor, place your microphone directly in front of you and remove your earphone. Then, switch on the microphone.
- If language arrangements allow, please use your mother tongue.
- Speak at a reasonable pace, freely or on the basis of notes/bullet points.
Your message may not come across fully when you just read out a text or a speaking note. Even someone listening to the original language may find it difficult to take in the message in every detail. If you do read out prepared texts or statements, please ask the Secretariat to ensure that copies are distributed beforehand to all the interpreters' booths. They will of course be treated with the utmost confidentiality and checked against delivery
- When referring to a particular document, quote the specific reference/paragraph number first, then pause to allow people to find the reference. Page numbers can differ in different language versions.
- Quote figures slowly and distinctly and repeat them if necessary. For lists of figures, give a text/transparency to delegates and interpreters.
- Explain less well known acronyms the first time they are used in your meeting. If you have a list, this could be very useful as a background document for the interpreters.
Finally, feedback of whatever kind is usually much appreciated. Please contact your interpreters if you have any questions or wish to suggest the right specialist terms.
- Speak naturally, at a reasonable pace
- Speak your mother tongue if possible
- Speaking is better than reading
- Remove your head phone and speak into the microphone
- Quote document references
- Make sure the interpreters have the text if you read a speech
- Talk with your interpreters and give them feedback
- Put figures, names and acronyms clearly