Professional Practice Conditions for Conference Interpreters in Canada

Conference interpreters are recruited by the day. They work in teams because of the significant physical and mental strain involved in sustaining a high level of concentration over a prolonged period.

The number of interpreters in a team and the make-up of the team are determined according to the hours of work, the working languages, the mode of interpretation and the type of conference.

Thus, teams of interpreters shall include at least:

For simultaneous or whispered Interpretation

  1. for meetings with two working languages, working both ways in a single booth:
    • maximum 40 minutes
    • maximum 3.5 to 4 hours
    • maximum 6 hours
    • maximum 8 hours
    1 interpreter
    2 interpreters
    3 interpreters
    4 interpreters
  2. for meetings with three working languages: at least six interpreters
  3. for meetings with four or more working languages: at least two interpreters per booth, and three interpreters in booths with a heavy workload or where interpreters are working both ways

The use of relay should be avoided. As well, one team member should not be exclusively responsible for interpretation from any given language.

The number of interpretation booths is equal to the number of languages into which interpreters work, except in the case of conferences with two working languages, which may only require one booth.

For consecutive Interpretation and a normal six-hour day

  1. in a two-language meeting into those two languages: at least two interpreters
  2. in a three-language meeting into those three languages: at least three interpreters

Recommended citation format:
AIIC. "Professional Practice Conditions for Conference Interpreters in Canada". September 3, 2014. Accessed July 13, 2020. <>.