Wherever you go, there you are

Communicate! Issue 76. October 2020.

by Martin Field, Editor —  October 2020 

For conference interpreters around the world 2020 has been an extraordinary year – our usual busy schedule of travel was abruptly cancelled, and instead we were confined, for the most part, to remain in situ. 

Fortunately, for many, the situation eased and slowly bookings came in, although many of these involved interpreting from a distance. Physical journeys to assignments made way for virtual excursions, as more meetings took place via the ether, and several articles explore the sudden explosion of remote interpreting and meeting in virtual spaces. 

Remote destinations

Several articles in this issue consider aspects of remote interpreting. Readers should be aware that these reflect the views of the author, not any official AIIC position. We encourage all interpreters seeking information and guidance on RSI to consult the resources on distance interpreting produced by the AIIC Taskforce on Distance Interpreting.

In Loin des yeux, loin du coeur, Edgar Weiser contemplates how remote interpreting, despite many drawbacks, does have a silver lining, allowing interpreters to continue to work and to develop a valuable new skill.

The Canadian Translation Bureau has begun working with interpreters to test and compare the features of RSI platforms, described by Gillian Misener and Dijana Lazar in Testing… testing... 1,2,3...,  

Julia Poger suggests how freelancers can make the most of RSI jobs, and how to avoid some pitfalls, in How can I make RSI platforms work for me as a freelancer? – the latest in her Business of Interpreting FAQ series.

In June AIIC’s PRIMS Standing Committee invited MICE industry professionals to explore current trends and future prospects for the events and meetings sector at their “Donut” – an online round table. Visit the discussions in The future is hybrid.

ExCo’s seven members reflect on the Association’s route through the year’s rocky terrain, and their own personal experiences of the global health crisis, in “A complete and total game-changer”.

Expeditions to the East

The latest episode in Christine Adams’ “Search for Interpreter Zero” series transports you to 18th Century Pondicherry, to meet an early chief interpreter – the Courtier et Chef des Malabars .

Take another trip back in time to explore the history of the profession: read What is the Dragoman Challenge? (also in French) find out how Elvin Abbasbeyli’s essay on the Dragomans – early colleagues in the Ottoman court – came to be the most translated article on the AIIC Blog.

Moving into the present, explore the peculiarities of the profession in India today with Matthew Perret’s India's complex politics of multilingualism - a review of “Le Métier d’Interprètes en Inde: Évolution, enjeux, formation” by Dr. Priti Bhatia.

Travel assistance

Simultaneous simplification is a form of interpretation to make conference speeches and presentations available to persons with intellectual disabilities – join Myriam Nahón Guillén on a voyage of discovery with AIIC’s Israel Region who have been instrumental in developing this new modality.


Finally, this is the last stop on my own journey with AIIC, and as editor of Communicate! I hope that you’ve enjoyed travelling with me as much as I have. Farewell, and (as we say in my homeland South Africa) hambani kahle!

Articles published in Communicate! reflect the views of the author(s) and should not be taken to represent the official position of AIIC.


Wherever you go, there you are

Loin des yeux, loin du cœur 
Quelques réflexions sur l'interprétation à distance

Testing... testing... 1,2,3  
A Canadian assessment of RSI platforms

How can I make RSI platforms work for me as a freelancer?  
The Business of Interpreting

The future is hybrid 
A virtual discussion about the post-Covid landscape of meetings and events

“A complete and total game-changer”  
ExCo reflects on 2020

Brokers and Heads of the Malabars 
The search for Interpreter Zero

What is the Dragoman Challenge? 
A multilingual journey of discovery
  (also in French) 

India’s complex politics of multilingualism 
Review of “Le métier d’interprètes en Inde"

Simultaneous simplification  
A world first, to include people with intellectual disabilities

Photo: Karim Manjra / Unsplash