Diplomatic Interpreting Services

Diplomatic interpreting in Tel AvivDiplomatic interpreting” is a special form of conference interpreting. It refers to the type of interpreting performed by conference interpreters when they are employed full-time by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is occasionally also performed by freelance interpreters when they are asked to accompany a delegation of diplomats or official representatives of a foreign country.

Diplomatic interpreting is carried out in a variety of situations, including official visits, press conferences, formal or informal interviews, working lunches or gala dinners, after-dinner speeches, working meetings, and so on. The interpreters mainly provide consecutive or whispered interpretation, and only rarely simultaneous interpretation. As a general rule they only interpret the words of their own delegation, since the other party has its own interpreter. More than any other form of conference interpreting diplomatic interpreting requires interpreters to exercise the utmost discretion and observe the strictest professional secrecy. In addition, it is crucial for them to have an in-depth knowledge of current affairs and political issues.

If you need diplomatic interpreters, Calliope can:

  • recruit interpreters with the right profile for this type of service (excellent command of at least two languages; in-depth knowledge of current affairs; impeccably presented; discreet and offering good interpersonal skills)
  • liaise before the event with the Protocol Office and/or the department which has requested interpretation about all the practicalities (times, accreditation, travel arrangements, meeting documents, etc.)
  • brief the interpreter/s on the logistical, security and protocol-related arrangements, as well as on the format and content of the meeting.

Examples from our portfolio

Diplomatic Interpreter Perez-Guarnieri whispering for the First Minister of Wales

Welsh Settlement in Patagonia: 150th Anniversary Celebrations

The First Minister of Wales, The Rt Hon. Carwyn Jones AM, visited Argentine Patagonia from 26 to 30 July 2015 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Welsh settlement in Patagonia.  His visit included trips to several towns established by the early Welsh settlers, such as Trelew, Gaiman and Trevelyn, but the main event was staged in Puerto Madryn with a re-enactment of the arrival of the 'Mimosa' from Liverpool on 28 July 1865.

Calliope’s member for Spanish-speaking South America, Verónica Perez-Guarnieri, was on hand to provide whispered interpretation into English for the First Minister during his visit, working back into Spanish in consecutive when he took the floor.


Diplomatic Interpreter Rosaura Bartumeu provides consective interpretation for Ban Ki Moon

Official visits to Andorra

During her interpreting career, Rosaura Bartumeu, Calliope’s member for Andorra, has had the honour of accompanying all the Presidents of the French Republic and the former UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, on their visits to her home country, interpreting their words from French or English into Catalan, the country’s official language.


Bertold Schmitt providing diplomatic interpreting for the French Finance Minister

G20 meeting of the Ministers for Finance in Australia

During the G20 Meeting of the Ministers for Finance held in Cairns, Australia, Calliope member Bertold Schmitt provided diplomatic interpretation in simultaneous, whispered and consecutive modes for all events involving the French Finance Minister Michel Sapin. During the press conference given by the Minister in the margins of the Summit, Bertold Schmitt was by his side to interpret the questions put to him into French in whispered mode, and to interpret the Minister’s replies into English in consecutive mode.

Request a quote

Share this article: