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I realized my previous question was meaningless: in a world where interpreters have no say in the process of organizing a meeting, each one of us will scramble up whatever we can to make up for the absence of paper in your booth. it was meant rather as a call for guidelines.

So, imagine if you were included in the decision making (purely theoretically, so please don't give me "when well-managed, we can go w/o"), how many of you would demand that interpreters be exempted from this paperless rule?

I would insist on having all the documents, I mean complete set of docs in paper in my booth, simply because there's no replacement for it: not a laptop, nor an iPad, a Kindle, or a screen. They serve well as an supplement to paper but not in their stead.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving trees, but at the end of the day, what you save by going w/o papers in your booth, you may more than make up for by using more electricity, and working less efficiently for the meeting [Note I'm referring here only to interpreters].

asked 07 Mar '12, 11:38

tribush's gravatar image


edited 20 Mar '12, 06:53

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

does this site have a way to take poll? it would be nice to take a survey on it.

(08 Mar '12, 08:11) tribush

@ tribush You can ask any question about this site (features, bugs, etc.) on

(08 Mar '12, 08:49) Marta Piera ...

It's a pure Q&A site. One way to poll is to ask users to come up with short answers and invite everyone to upvote what they like/do/want. We can organise real polls elsewhere using the AIIC Web infrastructure and link to from here. Contact me by email for addl info.

(08 Mar '12, 11:05) Vincent Buck

Having printed documents is extremely useful when there is a discussion about the drafting of the document or when the speaker reads at full speed a paragraph from a certain paper, but that requires that all the documents be in order and that you have a super booth mate who will be ready to find the appropriate document... In my experience, organizers tend to warn interpreters that they should print the documents because there will be no printed documents available at the venue; then, what is it we all do? we load all the documents on our laptops (or what have you) and travel light! So, I believe, we have answered this issue with our own personal behaviour .

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answered 09 Mar '12, 12:36

Vicky%20Massa's gravatar image

Vicky Massa


+1: My opinion is that electronic documents are definitely more easy to handle than paper (for instance, you can quickly search for a word or phrase in a set of electronic files). A translator wouldn't also insist on a print document to translate. Paper was yesterday and digital is today. And a computer or laptop is part of every interpreter's essential equipment. See also the related question:

(20 Mar '12, 06:53) Delete ♦

Best to have the printed agenda and, if possible, the list of participants... the rest can be handled electronically...

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answered 20 Mar '12, 08:00

Vicky%20Massa's gravatar image

Vicky Massa

I find it useful to have the documents, both as files in my laptop as in printed copies. I try to reduce the amount of paper I carry around to the booth, not only to save paper but also because having too many documents on paper can take too much space in the smaller booths. The laptop I used on the booth has a screen that is a bit too small for certain PDFs, so I tend to print that kind of documents to make sure I have all the information I need.

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answered 29 Mar '12, 06:43

aidagda's gravatar image


I will not insist on having the complete set of documents in the booth.

Also see my answer to your original question.

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answered 07 Mar '12, 12:06

Vero's gravatar image


edited 07 Mar '12, 12:22

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck

... I will certainly ask if one paper set will be made available per booth (and remind them, yet again,that documents should only be read if the booths have been given advance copies)but am willing to live with a "no" many comfy things have followed the dodo! ;-)

One word of caution, though: I found out, during the earlier days of email, that if I insisted on paper documents in the booth - which I still did then - I would find amongst them several that should have been sent us and hadn't been, because they had arrived in the final days before a meeting and secretaries like the rest of us are overworked and - not being aware of the kind of preparartion we do - thought "oh well, they insisted on paper so I'll make sure this goes in that pile"...

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answered 07 Mar '12, 13:48

msr's gravatar image


I would not insist.

(Sorry for the rather brief answer, but this is a poll, so I thought ...)

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answered 23 Mar '12, 08:25

janrausch's gravatar image


I agree that documents are part of our working conditions but I don't think paper is an essential requirement - except at some international meetings involving a lot of drafting, where it is extremely helpful to have multiple language versions side by side. Laptop screens are too small to handle this well, especially with PDFs.

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answered 28 Mar '12, 05:34

LingoJango's gravatar image


I simply thinks as a principle of working conditions, interpreters should insist on having paper documentation in their booths. This is about working conditions.

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answered 15 Mar '12, 07:27

tribush's gravatar image


I usually insist on having in the booth the same file as the delegates and, if I know in advance that no hard copy will be distributed during the meeting, will bring the main documents myself (agenda, list of participants, amendments to statutes, financial report etc.). If it represents hundreds of pages, I will even decide with my boothmate who prints what. I do not print .ppts in general, as they use up a lot of paper and ink, and need little preparation in writing as they usually carry very few words.

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answered 08 Apr '12, 06:20

Danielle's gravatar image


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question asked: 07 Mar '12, 11:38

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