IMO Crosses Language Barriers
One of the great strengths of the UN system is its multi-national and multi-cultural nature.
As far as possible, UN bodies try to work in their delegates’ own languages or at least in a language they are familiar and comfortable with.
There are six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) and the vast majority of international meetings throughout the UN system enjoy simultaneous interpretation into all of them.
That means interpreters are often the unsung heroes of international diplomacy. Last week (12-13 January) International Maritime Organization (IMO) hosted a meeting of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC).
The UN system works closely with AIIC and 2019 marks 50 years since the first agreement between the UN and AIIC setting out terms and conditions of employment for freelance conference interpreters.
The meeting gave interpreters the chance to trial IMO’s own interpreting booths and meeting facilities, as well as evaluating new platforms for remote interpreting during simulated real-time interpreting exercises.