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DG Interpretation

How to make multilingual meetings work for you

The Directorate General for Interpretation provides interpreters for between 10000 and 11000 meetings every year. It is the interpreters' job to make communication possible between delegates who do not share a language. Our experience has shown that also the communication skills of the participants are of paramount importance when working in a multilingual meeting. The greater the number of languages in use and the more complex the interpretation arrangements, the more this is true

When you are chairing or participating in a multilingual meeting it is useful to think about how your message gets across through interpretation. The interpreters are there to help the meeting proceed as if everyone was speaking the same language, and we provide the following tips in order to help you get the best possible quality of communication in your meeting.

The suggestions below refer specifically to the working conditions upheld by the European Commission but are generally valid for all meetings with interpretation. You are welcome to copy or use the information in these pages and to create links to it from your agendas or websites.