How-to books

On this page you will find a brief introduction to some of the more useful texts published for students of conference interpreting.

Conference Interpreting Explained.

Jones, Roderick. 1998 Routledge.

THE book!
Almost all you’ll ever need to know about how to do this job.

For a review click here!

To read an interview with R.J. click here!

Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator training

Gile, Daniel, 1995, Benjamins.

Read a review of this book in The International Journal of Interpreter Education

Quite technical and aimed at teachers. Students will still find the book very useful – particulary the chapters on Fidelity and Language Acquisition.

See an extract on coping strategies for simultaneous here

See an extract on reformulation strategies here.

Pedagogie Raisonnee De L’interpretation (Traductologie) (Volume 4) (French Edition) (9782864606406): Lederer, M., Seleskovitch, , D. 1989.

Originally for trainers this distillation and practical explanation of Seleskovitch’s teaching theory and practice is still fantastically useful.

Download the full work as a pdf

L’interprete dans les conferences internationales 

Danica Seleskovitch. 1968, Cahiers Champollion

Available in English as Interpreting for International Conferences: Problems of Language and Communication

This epoch-making book defined the profession at a time when there was almost nothing else in print and Danica Seleskovitch did more than anyone to raise the profile of interpreting. 

This book remained the benchmark for 20 years and although the language, the attitude and the style have dated a little, it is still a very worthwhile read.

Conference Interpreting – A Complete Course

Robin Setton and Andrew Dawrant

“This comprehensive coursebook sets out an updated step-by-step programme of training, designed to meet the increasingly challenging conditions of the 21st century, and adaptable by instructors with the appropriate specializations to cover all these different applications in contemporary practice “

Conference Interpreting – Principles and Practice

Taylor-Bouladon, Valerie, Booksurge.

A very interesting, thorough and practical guide. Although aimed at an Australian audience much applies to Europe.

An extract is on this site at Tips for beginners

You can also find a review at AIIC’s Communicate site.

Author’s home page

Le manuel de l’interprete. 

Herbert, J., 1952 Geneve. Georg

Pre-history… but still one of few general books about interpreting. Out of print but available in most University libraries.

The language game
Ewandro Magalhaes 2019

Essays about the profession from a former Chief Interpreter.

Conference Interpreting – a student’s practice book

Andrew Gillies

A compilation of tried and tested practical exercises which hone the sub-skills that make up successful conference interpreting. Includes section on how to organise practice sessions out of class.

Read a review of this book at the Interpreter Diaries

Read a review of this book at InterpretAmerica

Nolan, James, 2005, Multilingual Matters.

Put together by senior UN intepreter James Nolan, offers some good strategies for simultaneous interpreting and interesting exercises to practise the same strategies. You will need Fr, En and Es in your combination to use all the examples though. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 are most useful. Don’t bother with all the language stuff.

Essays on Conference Interpreting

Nolan, James, Multilingual Matters, 2020

“This book condenses the important lessons learned at key points during the author’s 30-year career as an intergovernmental conference interpreter and trainer, seeking to define what constitutes good interpreting and how to develop the skills and abilities that are conducive to it”

Vom Uebersetzen zum Simultandolmtschen
Juergen Staehle 2009

Przekład ustny konferencyjny

Małgorzata Tryuk, PWN, 2007

“Jakie predyspozycje musi posiadać tłumacz ustny?
Jaką rolę odgrywa pamięć w tłumaczeniu ustnym i jak ją ćwiczyć?
Kiedy po raz pierwszy zastosowano przekład konsekutywny, kiedy symultaniczny, a kiedy przekład ustny maszynowy?
Jakie są możliwości dalszego rozwoju przekładu konferencyjnego?”

Conference Interpreting – A New Students’ Companion

Andrew Gillies, Tertium Cracow, 2004

An updated version of the 2001 publication containing a whole series of practice exercises for the different skills that go to make up conference interpreting. 

Available here

Interpreting: From Preparation to Performance. Recipes for practitioners and Teachers

Compiled by Csilla Szabó et al, British Council, Budapest. ISBN963 20 6409 7

A compilation of practice ideas compiled in English in Budapest….delicious. 

Available from Csilla Szabó

Théorie et Pratique de l’interprétation

Henri Van Hoof, 1962

A classic and hard to find. But still useful.

Konferenzdolmetschen

Becker 1975

Useful and entertainingly written (in German). Pretty impossible to find! Some parts out of date

Conference Terminology 

Herbert, J. Gebethner i Ska, 1991, Warsaw.

Offers useful conference idiom in En, Fr, De, Sp, Ru, It, and more recently PL.
Handy if a little dated. Hard to find in the shops, but should be in most University libraries.