What is WISE?

WISE - Workshop for Interpreting Skills Exchange

By interpreters, for interpreters

WISE is a practice workshop for professional interpreters who may want to add to their already extensive booth experience by working on their professional skills.

The idea behind WISE took shape when a group of interpreters sought out opportunities to enhance their professional skills by practising simultaneous and consecutive over the summer downtime. The first sessions were held in 2013 and proved popular as a chance for professionals to hone their skillset in a hardworking yet relaxed atmosphere. As a WISE participant, you work on your skills such as retour or C > A with other professionals who will provide you with feedback on your consecutive and simultaneous.  Spending time with colleagues from all over Europe (and often from much further afield) means that you will hear about what it is like to work in different markets in a laid-back environment.  You will also take part in our special session where we discuss the state of the profession and how interpretation may evolve over time.

- What's the idea behind WISE?

The seminar operates on a mutually beneficial basis, relying upon the goodwill of those taking part. This means that as a participant, you will interpret the speeches of other colleagues while also receiving feedback from them. In return, you will give constructive feedback and helpful advice to others, as well as speeches in your native language.

- How much will it cost?

WISE is based on the goodwill of the interpreters taking part, meaning that nobody will be paid to give speeches or feedback. A fee of 250 euros covers administrative and other costs.

- What about accommodation, food and travel?

Participants arrange their own stay, including accommodation, meals and travel.

- What is an average day on the WISE practice seminar like?

Sessions are planned based on the number of participants, their languages and the rooms available. Participants take turns giving speeches, feedback and interpreting in both consecutive and simultaneous. A day at WISE sessions can be quite intense but we also have social and cultural events in the evenings: a good chance to get to know your fellow participants.

A typical WISE timetable
- Will WISE help me prepare for accreditation tests at institutions like the EU and the UN?

WISE sessions broadly mimic a lesson format and style common to many MA courses. Naturally, this will mean that the content and focus of the sessions will be well-suited to preparing oneself for an institutional test. Nevertheless, given that the content of the sessions is mainly to be determined by the participants themselves, the interpreters taking part will be able to tailor the seminar to the overall needs of the group. Specific sessions on certain topics or for certain institutional tests may be organised depending on demand and on the will of the majority of participants.

- How will WISE be useful to me if I plan to work solely on the private market?

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standingThe skills developed at WISE are equally applicable to interpreting both at large institutions and on the private market, with each participant prioritising their own professional needs. For those who intend to work solely on the private market, WISE may represent a good opportunity to work on one's retour or B language, a prized asset in non-institutional settings. 

For interpreters aiming to work on an English retour, both WISE Valencia and WISE Brussels include retour sessions where interpreters receive feedback from a number of English native interpreters, an option which could be particularly appealing.

- How will WISE help me to progress in my career?

WISE is for working professionals who may not have received direct and honest feedback since studying interpreting at university. WISE vaguely models its session format on what might be found on an MA course, it is not a recognised qualification in any way and has no official links with the EMCI, EU or other institutions. Sessions will be led to a large degree by WISE participants themselves, meaning that the organisers can make no explicit claims about the quality of teaching. Participants should see WISE as an opportunity to practice, not as a professional leg up or as a means of gaining a qualification. 

For more information: wise.interpreting@gmail.com