Interpreter visibility vs. invisibility: Could, and should, interpreters be more visible?


2023年6月25日 午後 9時30分

We have all seen photos of summit meetings between heads of state, with the interpreters discreetly positioned behind the main players. Their role is vital, yet they remain in the background. Meanwhile conference interpreters are invisible in a booth at the back of a conference hall and usually only the organising committee and perhaps the delegation they are interpreting for are aware of their existence. And nowadays, with the advent of remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI), interpreters may sometimes be visible while they interpret, but only as a headshot on screen.

Competition has increased due to remote assignments being offered to practitioners around the world, so it is vital that interpreters set themselves apart and establish their ‘brand’. Yet clumsy attempts to promote yourself could be counterproductive, risking accusations of client-stealing or other unprofessional behaviour. Navigating these new waters while trying not to sink into unethical territory, while at the same time avoiding incurring the wrath of colleagues or clients, is tricky.

An obvious solution is the judicious use of SNS. There are some principles to observe — above all, your posts must not be all about you. Nobody is interested in an interpreter who continually posts about how fabulous they are!

This session will highlight some of the issues around the visibility and invisibility of interpreters and look at some of the dos and don’ts of SNS as a means of enhancing visibility. Participants will also be encouraged to share their experiences, both positive and negative, of increasing their brand visibility.


Yuki Sayeg

Conference interpreter trainer