English Booth for Athens ESF

Athens, Greece: 3-8 April 2006 - Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινωνικό Φόρουμ
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:09 pm

English Booth for Athens ESF

Postby julieb » Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:50 pm

Are you a native speaker of English?
Have you volunteered for the esf06 project?

All the information you need is here...

Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:09 pm

English Booth: Information for Athens ESF06

Postby julieb » Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:01 pm

1. Selection:

a. information

There will be 25 rooms with simultaneous interpretation

Numbers of interpreters per language:

EL-Greek 88
EN-English 88
FR-French 36
TR-Turkish 36
IT-Italian 26
DE-German 26
ES-Spanish 26
Albanian 14
Bulgarian 14
Czech 14
Slovenian 14
HU-Magyar 14
PL-Polish 14
Kurdish 14
Croatian 14
Serbian 14
Macedonian 14
Romanian 14
RU-Russian 14
AR-Arabic 10
PT-Portuguese 6
Catala 6
EU-Basque 6

Total of interpreters = 522

b. criteria for selection

Therefore, Babels-uk proceeds to the selection of the EN booth according to the following criteria:

Professionals and Experienced Interpreters
As the reliance on the English booth will be very important in Athens, Babels-uk has decided to give priority to the quality of interpretation by selecting mainly professionals and experienced interpreters.

Occasional and 1st experience Interpreters
As the inclusion of 1st experience and occasional interpreters is politically important, we have also pre-selected a small number of beginners whose linguistic combination included rare languages (Eastern languages, Greek, Turkish, Arabic, etc.). These volunteers will join the project after self-assessing their skills with the sit-prep tool. The Sit-prep is a DVD with recordings of speeches from past forums, and with instructions on Simultaneous Interpretation which allow beginners to make sure that they feel they can make it or not for the ESF.

Broad combination of languages
As the linguistic needs of the ESF are known very late (the programme of the event is often finalised few weeks before the ESF) it is very difficult to do an accurate selection. For this reason, Babels-uk has decided to select mainly interpreters who have a large number of working languages in order to respond to a diversity of linguistic needs we can’t anticipate.

Interpreters based in Europe
for budget reasons and given the large pool of english native interpreters based in Europe Babels-uk has decided not to select interpreters outside Europe.

c) Stages of the selection process
(note that stages are cyclical as Babels-uk will select interpreters by round of 30 interpreters approximately)


Babels-uk will send an email to the interpreters short-listed according to the criteria mentioned above.

Travel arrangement

Once confirmed, you just have to wait for Babels-el volunteers, Lina Filopoulou, to contact you. They will assist you in arranging your travel to Athens. Note that any ticket brought without liaising with Babels-el runs the risk of not being reimbursed, so wait for them to contact you before you buy any ticket. However, to save time, it would be very helpful if you could start looking for the cheapest solution to get to Athens.

Those interpreters who come from Western European countries (UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria etc.) will have to book and pay for their tickets. When they come to Athens, they will be reimbursed for their expenses. This is to allow interpreters and coordinators who come from Eastern European countries (Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Bulgaria etc.) not to pay in advance for their tickets. As soon as they are confirmed, Lina will contact them, she will book a pre-paid ticket and will send it to them electronically with precise instructions. All interpreters and coordinators who travel to Athens should keep the COUPON, RECEIPT and should also make a PHOTOCOPY of their ticket.

2. Accommodation

All interpreters and coordinators will stay at houses or at low cost hotels booked by the ESF Organizing Committee. Both interpreters and coordinators will be offered free accommodation. We urge participants to let babels-el know for any particularities on their part concerning allergies or any other health issues. Participants will be sent emails about their lodging and instructions how to get there in April. The coordinators responsible for accommodation are Dimitris E. and Panayotis P. You can contact them by sending an email at babels-el@babels.org

3. Meals during the ESF

The Organizing Committee of the 4th ESF reassured us that all interpreters and coordinators will be given coupons for the 4 days of the Forum. They will be offered two meals a day but no drinks.

4. Programme and booth planning

As you might already know if you already participated in the ESF, the programme is always finalised few weeks before the ESF which make Booth planning very tough to Babels. For this reason, you might be given your schedule when you arrive in Athens. We know that this is not ideal as interpretation requires preparation. We will do our best to give you your schedule as soon as it is ready.

However, we have already lobbied speakers and organisations taking part in the ESF for them to provide Babels advance information on the seminar and on their speech. As in London, a team of volunteers will be set up in Athens in order to receive and process this information and to attach it to your schedule.


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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:06 pm
Location: London

Criteria for 'experienced' interpreters

Postby sarahannaday » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:21 pm

I have just been reading the details about English booth interpreters for Athens. I recently registered with Babels because I am very interested in volunteering as an interpreter for the forum but had trouble when it came to classifying my level of experience. I am a trainee interpreter currently undertaking an MA. I have been studying and practicing simultaneous interpreting on my course since October but have never worked in a professional situation. I described my level of experience as occasional, but don't know if this means that I was denying myself the chance of interpreting at the forum since it suggests I have only set foot in a booth a handful of times! I don't know how you would classify a student interpreter who has reasonable experience of mock conferences but no experience of the real thing! Are you interested in having us amongst your volunteers?

Thank you very much, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Best wishes, Sarah Day

Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:09 pm

Postby julieb » Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:42 pm

Hi Sara,

I know the category for the level of experience are quite confusing but hopefully you should sort it out with the definitions you will find below. Those are the definitions that babels-uk use.

You don’t have training in interpretation; neither do you have any interpreting experience BUT you are bilingual or have a high level of proficiency in a foreign language (please note that an excellent understanding of your foreign language as you will need to interpret simultaneously FROM this language.

You have a basic training in simultaneous interpretation and / or you have some experience in a booth of simultaneous interpretation , either with Babels or in the wider market.

You have received a complete or nearly complete training in simultaneous interpretation and / or you already have done simultaneous interpretation on quite a few occasions, either with Babels or in the wider market; you feel confident working in the booth.

You make your living from simultaneous interpretation.

As regards interpretation at the Social Forum, its discourse can be challenging for people who have never heard of it. If this is your case, I strongly advise you to do a sitprep, it is a DVD of recorded speeches from past forums with which you can train and assess yourself. You will find more info on this link: http://www.babels.org/r47.html

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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:06 pm
Location: London

Thankyou Julie!

Postby sarahannaday » Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:39 pm

Dear Julie,

Thankyou very much, that reply was very helpful. I can now officially state that I am somewhere in between 'occasional' and 'experienced' at the moment! I shall indeed do a sitprep as you recommended and see how I get on.

Thankyou again!

Best wishes,


Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:38 pm

timescale for the selection process

Postby caracas06 » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:00 pm

hey folks,
has the english booth confirmation email been ent out yet?
just trying to plan for the summer and need to know if i will be in greece. i am trying to follow it on the elist, but i can only find information about the french booth.
any idea when we will know?
and big thanks for keeping the forum sdo updated!! (after caracas it is a joy ;o)
best wishes,
kate wilson (es-en)


Dear All,

First of all, apologies for the delay in informing you about your
participation in the ESF in Athens.

Babels-uk has been busy liaising with European coordinators, and
particularly Babels-el in Greece, in order to get accurate information
>the project before taking any decision.

We have noted that you subscribed to the esf06 project and that your A1
language is English.

This is an email to inform you that the selection of the English Booth
started. As you probably know, the next European Social Forum will take
place in Athens from Thursday May 4th to Sunday 7th 2006.

Please note this means that, if selected, you would need to be in
Athens on
the Wednesday and we would ask you not to leave before the Sunday

If you are not available for these dates, or if your 1st language is
English, please let us know by sending an email to babels-uk at

For any other query, please do not contact us by email but have a look
the online Forum which Babels-uk set up for the ESF2006 coordination at

This is updated on a regular basis and all the information you need
be there: criteria for selection, transport, meals, etc. We want to
private emails that duplicate work and we would like to encourage a
collective discussion amongst interpreters and coordinators in the
running up to the ESF.

If you are selected, you will be contacted by email by Babels-uk. This
there is high need of Eastern Languages, Greek and Turkish, so please
spread the word among your contacts by sending this link to people to
subscribe to Babels: http://www.babels.org/a5.html
and tell them to tick the box esf06 at the bottom of the subscription

Important: it is very important that you make sure the information on
Babels file is accurate, in particular your current address as well as
languages and your level of experience in simultaneous interpreting.

Please access your personal data, and then double
check your details, especially languages and experience level.

Thanks very much indeed.

Last edited by caracas06 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:19 am
Location: Brazil


Postby clovisgomes » Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:11 am

I´m in Brazil.. and can translate from english to italian and portuguese ... can I help u?

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:11 am

ESF - croatian interpreter

Postby Vivien » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:35 pm


I am a bit confused as I don't seem to understand who is organizing/ coordinating interpreters for the croatian booth. I saw on the forum that selections for spanish, english, german and french booth are alreday completed, and there are no news regarding any of the eastern languages. Or is it perhaps me looking in the wrong place? I am Croatian, studying Interpreting in Italy and can work with croatian, italian, english and spanish (spanish=only passive in italian or croatian). I worked in the FsMed held in Barcelona.
Can somebody help me, direct me who to contact.



Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:09 pm

Interpreters coming from outside Europe

Postby julieb » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:41 pm

Given the considerable pool of volunteer interpreters available in Europe to volunteer, Babels-uk might not resort to interpreters from elsewhere. Thanks

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