The 2015 AIIC Assembly approved an amendment to the association's regulation on admissions and language classification. According to the new provisions, applications are to take into account specific language pairs, with each pair defined as “a discrete unit composed of one source and one target language." The target language is to be qualified as either A or B, and any language not listed as a target language will automatically be classified as C.

The resulting level of detail should serve to make the particulars of a member's language combination as it appears in the AIIC Directory clearer to conference organizers and other users while maintaining the traditional A-B-C categories (see below). The new regulation will also apply to member requests to add a language or reclassify one already listed in their combination. For further information please refer to Article 11 of the Regulation governing admissions and language classification.

* A The interpreter's native language (or another language strictly equivalent to a native language), into which the interpreter works from all her or his other languages in both modes of interpretation, simultaneous and consecutive.

* B A language other than the interpreter's native language, of which she or he has a perfect command and into which she or he works from one or more of her or his other languages.

* C A passive language of which the interpreter has a complete understanding and from which she or he works.


Following discussions with the AIIC Professional and Negotiating Delegations, SCIC has decided to reform the current procedure for recruiting ACIs in the short-term, i.e. for the next two working days.

What will change?

Under the previous procedure, when SCIC was looking to recruit for a specific booth for the following 2 working days, ACIs needed to volunteer in response to a red line which was published in the ACI Webcalendar. Under the new procedure the red line will be abandoned. Instead SCIC will make specific contract proposals to individual ACIs according to the needs that have arisen. In order for ACIs to be considered for such proposals, it is essential that their Webcalendars are up-to-date and clearly indicate their availability (‘pink boxes’). So that ACIs can distinguish these proposals in their calendar from medium-term contract proposals, they will be displayed with the normal blue background but with text in yellow.

What is the daily timing?

Contract proposals made under this new procedure will appear in an ACI’s Webcalendar at 13.00. At the same time an automatic email will be sent to the registered email address of the ACI concerned to inform him/her that there are proposals for one or both of the next 2 working days. If there happen to be any regular medium-term proposals that have not yet been accepted by an ACI for those days, the email will also remind the ACI of these. It is important that ACIs ensure that their current email address is registered in the Webcalendar.

The ACI will have until 14.30 to accept or reject these proposals. Once accepted, the proposals will become contracts and will be displayed in green boxes with a letter ‘E’. However, so that ACIs can distinguish them from regular long and medium-term contracts, the text will be displayed in the same yellow as the short-term proposals. It is only when the ACI accepts a short-term proposal that the contract is confirmed and that s/he will appear as available for assignment. If an ACI rejects a short-term proposal, this will be displayed as a letter ‘Z’ in a yellow box.

It should be noted that with the introduction of the new short-term recruitment procedure all refused contracts will now be displayed in a yellow box. The ‘red box’ for refused contracts will thus cease to exist. If an ACI does not react by 14.30 to any proposals for the next 2 working days, these will automatically be turned into yellow boxes (refused contracts). If at 14.30 SCIC still needs to recruit interpreters for the booth concerned, it will contact ACIs directly (usually by telephone) to see if they are still available to accept a contract for the day or days concerned.

Who will be concerned?

ACIs in all EU language units will be eligible. In normal circumstances, SCIC will only make proposals via this procedure to those ACIs whose professional domicile is in Brussels.

When will the new procedure be implemented?

Implementing the new procedure will require a number of changes to be made to the current IT system and for these changes to be tested. SCIC estimates that this development work will take at least 2 months to carry out. SCIC thus hopes that the new procedure can be implemented for the beginning of April 2015.


Yoruba, Cebuano, Lingala, Iloko and Tagalog were some of the obscure, exotic and far-flung languages spoken by those accused of offences before the courts in Ireland last year. The Courts Service confirmed on Sunday, in response to a Freedom of Information request, that the bill for providing interpretation services for 68 languages in the courts during 2014 totalled just over €1 million. The figures show that most of the fees were paid to Forbidden City Ltd (or their trading name,, which received €832,324.

According to the Courts Service, Polish was the language interpreted most often last year in the courts, with interpreters required on 2,151 different occasions, accounting for 28.8 per cent of the languages interpreted. This was followed by the demand for Romanian interpreters, who were required 1,367 times in court, making up 18.3 per cent. The other languages to feature in the top 10 were Lithuanian (14.8 per cent), Russian (9.9 per cent), Mandarin (4.5 per cent), Latvian (3.4 per cent), Vietnamese (2.6 per cent), Portuguese (2 per cent), Arabic (1.7 per cent) and Czech (1.5 per cent). Yoruba is spoken in Nigeria and Benin, while Cebuano is spoken in the Philippines.

Lingala is a Bantu language spoken in the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while Iloko and Tagalog are also spoken in the Philippines.


Microsoft has been previewing its powerful Skype Translator for nearly six months, and the company is now ready for anyone to test the software. While the previous releases, including support for Italian and Chinese, have been limited to a small group of testers, Microsoft is removing the sign-up requirement today to open the preview to the masses. That means anyone can now use Skype Translator to translate English, Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin in real time.

Skype Translator works by using a modified version of the Skype Windows 8 app to translate spoken words into text or audio. We first used the software back in December during an early preview, and while there were a few translation issues, it works well enough to hold a conversation in a language you do not understand. Early adopters have provided feedback to Microsoft over the course of the past five months, and now it’s time for everyone to test Skype Translator and see if it really will change the way we communicate. Microsoft’s Skype Translator app is only available on Windows right now, and you’ll need a Windows 8 or Windows 10 PC to download the app from the Windows Store.