The Caux Interpreters Programme is an opportunity for final year interpreting students and young interpreting graduates to practise their skills in a real-life conference setting, working alongside more experienced interpreters.
The Caux Forum consists of plenary sessions with up to 300 participants from around the world, podium discussions, theatre performances, as well as seminars, workshops and small group meetings.
All of these sessions are conducted in a multilingual environment and facilitated by a team of interpreters, composed each year on the basis of the required language mix.
In the plenary sessions, simultaneous interpreting is provided, sometimes through relay. During workshops and small group sessions, interpreters also work in consecutive, short consecutive and/or whispering mode, as required.
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The interpreters will stay in the Caux Palace - Conference and Seminar Centre in two- or three-bed rooms. Single rooms are an exception in the entire conference centre and are only available under special circumstances. Bedrooms are equipped with washbasins, a direct external telephone line and, in most cases, wireless Internet. Two to three bedrooms share one separate bathroom with showers and toilets. Male and female bedrooms and bathrooms are separated. Bed linen, towels, and soap are available. We recommend that you bring your own hair drier and an adaptor for Swiss sockets.
Internet access is free throughout the Caux Palace. It is advisable to bring your own device to work on documents for your interpreting work outside and inside the booth. A dedicated interpreter office with printing and photocopying facilities is available to your team at all times to prepare for the upcoming sessions. Your team leader will arrange for print-outs and photocopies to be made available as required.
There are three rooms with simultaneous booth interpreting equipment i.e. the Main Hall and two smaller conference rooms. The conference manager and the conference teams decide which rooms will be used for simultaneous interpreting. As many conferences incorporate small group work with less languages, portable (tour guide) equipment will be made available for rooms with no booth system. Consecutive/whispering may also be required.
Apart from general background information on conference topics and speakers, interpreters have access to presentations, scripts or notes for some meetings, but will need to work without preparation material for other sessions. The conference organizers are asked to provide as much material as possible in advance. Past experience has shown that most documents won’t be available before your arrival at the conference centre. Your chef d’équipe will ensure that speakers and facilitators meet with you the day before they are on to answer questions and convey a summary of their contributions.
For each active language at least two interpreters will be recruited. Organizers and interpreters usually work as a team and aim to achieve the best possible communication, working conditions and outcome. Your chef d’équipe will arrange briefing meetings with the speakers, coordinate smaller translation tasks if required and assign individual interpreters and/or pairs and sub-teams to small group sessions outside of the plenary meetings. The number of interpreters for any given conference depends on the specific language requirements.
There is no definite timeline for the selection process since language needs may change up to the last minute. We do everything we can to inform you as soon as possible whether you have been selected. All applicants who are suitable but are not invited in the first round will be kept on a list of alternates. There is always a chance to join a team of interpreters in Caux until the last conference is about to begin. For this reason, we do not issue any regrets.
Casual to business casual. Please bring one to two business outfits for official events. You may want to bring some warm clothes as it can be chilly at the altitude of 1000m. The Caux conference centre has a laundry room with coin-operated washing machines, driers/ drying rooms, iron board and irons.
The conference centre is located in a beautiful mountain setting, the perfect place for quiet and reflection. Going for a walk or a hike is always worth it. Please bring suitable shoes and outdoor gear. There is no gym, but some sports activities (soccer, volleyball, frisbee etc.) are usually organized informally. It is also possible to walk down to Montreux (approx. 45 min to one hour) or to get there by train (funicular). Going for a swim in Lake Geneva is a great way to relax. However, absences of several hours may be difficult to arrange due to the conference schedule and always need to be coordinated with your chef d’équipe. Sometimes, yoga is offered early in the morning. In the chapel across from the conference centre, a short Taizé service based on chants and reflections is held at 10 pm every evening.
The Caux Forum with its many affiliated events can only happen thanks to the generous contributions in time and talent of a large number of Foundation-sponsored participants. This includes the work of interpreters as well as the services rendered by all conference participants e.g. in the dining room. Initiatives of Change Switzerland will cover the cost of your stay as an interpreter, including accommodation and meals. Travel costs will be reimbursed in parts; the details and exact amounts will be coordinated individually with each interpreter. Due to budget constraints, we would encourage you to use cost efficient airlines and air/train fares. Please consult with us on fares before booking, and submit your travel receipts for a refund payment on your arrival. You would be expected to cover your own cost for travel insurance and any visa fees if required.
Yes, when you register officially on the conference webpage, you'll be required to provide information as to whether you need a visa for Switzerland. If that is the case, the conference secretariat will send you an official Letter of Invitation on behalf of Initiatives of Change Switzerland to facilitate your visa application. Please let us know well in advance in case you require a visa, as the application process takes time.