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Delivering Excellence in Conference Interpreting:Tests in University Context
 
ZHANG Ailing
 

Conference interpreting has been recognized as a highly specialized profession requiring the highest level of interpreting skills. Only people with the right aptitude, who have received rigorous, strict and systematic training, will be trusted to deliver the required service. In order to guarantee the excellence of such service, employers of conference interpreters such as international and regional organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, as well as governments and multinational companies have collaborated with a limited number of like-minded universities to turn out qualified conference interpreters, since the required human and facility resources can best be provided at these universities. These training programs necessarily entail the assessment of the aptitudes critical for would-be conference interpreters, inter alia, the candidate’s command of working languages, his/her knowledge base, his/her ability to adapt and flexibility of her mind. Taking the Conference Interpreting Program at GIIT as an example, the author of this paper discusses such tests as Entrance Exam, Mid-point Exam, and Professional Exam, focusing on the analysis of the grading system and deliberations by the jury members including trained senior practicing interpreters, employers of interpreters, e.g. international organizations, governments, professional associations, and leading instructors of the programs.

 
 
     
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