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 Home > Event-related > European SF > FSE-ESF 2006 > Babels-el: reports

[ en ]

Babels-el Report for the EL Booth

(Date: 27 March 2006)

Babels-el Report for the EL Booth

a. General information

According to information given to us by the ESF Organizing Committee, there will be 30 booths with simultaneous interpretation. Number of interpreters per language:

EL-Greek: 120
EN-English: 120
FR-French: 40
TR-Turkish: 32
IT-Italian: 32
DE-German: 24
ES-Spanish: 28
Albanian: 16
Bulgarian: 16
CZ-Czech: 16
Slovenian: 12
HU-Magyar: 12
PL-Polish: 12
Kurdish: 8
Croatian-Serbian: 20
Macedonian: 16
Romanian: 16
RU-Russian: 16
AR-Arabic: 16
PT-Portuguese: 8
CA-Catala: 8
EU-Basque: 8

b. Criteria for selection

Experienced and Professional interpreters

Since the 4th ESF is taking place in Athens and in every seminar there will be an EL booth, we have to ensure the quality of interpretation. It is the first time that an ESF will be held in a country whose language is not widely spoken, and as a result we expect that part of the interpretation from EL into a pivot language will be done by the EL booth. Most Greek professional interpreters are trained to work from EL into their B language. So, our first criterion is to find professional and experienced interpreters that apart from interpreting into EL, could interpret from EL into their B language. We have also tried to engage interpreters with Eastern and Balkan languages in their background.

Occasional and First Experience interpreters

In Babels database there is a considerable number of first experience and occasional volunteers whose mother tongue is EL. We contacted them and we advised them to follow the Sit-prep procedure. Babels-el has organized Sit-Preps in Athens twice a week, every Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon. We also encourage such activities in other parts of Greece but our efforts have not come off yet. Vassilis T., a professional interpreter, has been participating actively in the Sit-Preps and has been giving advice and guidance to the volunteers.

Apart from the Sit-prep material that we have been given, we also use DVDs with EL speeches that unfortunately are not from previous SFs. The only material we have with EL speeches is from the International Conference of GMO, Free Balkans that was held in Thessaloniki in December 2005. We also use newpaper material with the relevant topics.

The volunteers that have been taking the Sit-preps have not been selected yet. After taking part in the procedure for several times, they are asked to self-assess themselves and tell us if they wish to enter a booth or not.

Greek interpreters outside Athens

Since there are a lot of Greek students studying in European universities, we have tried to contact those registered in the database. There are several students of interpretation in the University of Edinburgh and although they are not experienced or professionals, they have been selected for obvious reasons.
We have sent the Sit-prep DVDs to the students living abroad and have encouraged them to participate in the process and self-assess themselves.

Babels-el has been trying to contact people with various linguistic combinations and we also try to engage immigrants living in Greece in the process.

c. Selection process

Babels-el contacts the interpreters that fulfill the above criteria. After confirming the professional or the experienced professional’s participation to the ESF, we contact them and ask them to arrange their ticket with Lina’s help. Each Greek interpreter coming from inside Greece can spend up to 80 euros for their travel expenses. Those Greek interpreters coming from other European countries will arrange their ticket and they will be reimbursed in the same way that the other European interpreters will make their travel arrangements (For further information, please take a look at

As far as the first experienced or the occasional interpreters are concerned, they are contacted and they are asked to participate in the Sit-prep process. They will be asked if they wish to enter a booth or not in the middle of April.

d. Outreach

Babels-el has sent the new information material (posters and pamphlets) in various universities throughout Greece and in the following weeks we plan to travel and have meetings in these institutes and universities.

e. Accommodation

Babels-el has been trying to contact people and ask them to offer hospitality accommodation to interpreters. We had asked the ESF organizers for a database where all participants could register and offer accomodation for Babels interpreters. Although the ESF had started to build such a database, the project was abandoned.

Babels-el’s coordinators, Dimitris Oik. and Panayotis P., have been systematically trying to contact all the collectives that participate in the ESF to mobilize their members to offer solidarity accommodation to interpreters. They have not responded to our demands yet. In a recent discussion concerning Babels budget (a special report on this discussion will be made as soon as possible and the new budget plan is being translated into EN), Babels-el clearly stated that if ESF organizers do not mobilize and help Babels in accommodating interpreters they will have to allocate a figure of about 30,000 euros for the interpreters accommodation.

f. Number of interpreters for the EL booth

Out of the 139 interpreters with A1: EL registered in the database (till 23rd March), we have contacted 107 people and we have come up with the following figures:

30 Confirmed interpreters
27 Selected but confirmation pending
18 Participating in the Sit-preps in Babels offices
4 Received DVDs and practice at home
3 Interested in translation or had DVDs and decided to be engaged in translation
16 Contacted
3 Cannot participate
5 Coordinator
1 Not selected (Professional but living in Belgium and could come in Athens only for the weekend)
31 Not contacted yet

That’s what they have stated in the list about their experience in simultaneous interpretation:

33 Professional
14 Experienced
20 Occasional
63 First Experience
9 Have not stated anything in the relevant list


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