Interpreter Training Resources

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 Interpreting: non-fiction

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On this page you will find autobiographies, historical works as some works of fiction and film relating to the profession.

This page is work in progress, so if you have found something you think should be here drop us a line.

Please note also that however interesting these books may be, the auto-biographies, where they reveal the details of private meetings, represent a fairly blatant and gross violation of the principle of confidentiality to which interpreters are sworn!


Confessions of an Arabic Interpreter: The Odyssey of an Arabist, 1959-2009.

Leslie McLoughlin

Read a review of this book

Available at Books Arabia


My Years with Gorbachev and Shevardnadze -
The Memoir of a Soviet Interpreter

Pavel Palazchenko

Interesting and perceptive view of the profession from a former UN and Soviet government interpreter.

Available at Amazon

Watch an interview with Palazchenko here

Danica Seleskovitch - interprete et temoin du XXe siecle

Anne-Marie Widlund-Fantini

aux Editions l'Age d'Homme

Le livre est en vente a la librairie L'Age d'Homme, 5, rue Ferou

75006 Paris. (Tél : 01 55 42 79 79)

Read a review of this book

Available at Amazon

Statist auf diplomatischer Buehne 1923-45

Dr Paul Schmidt

"Der Ehemalige Chefdometscher im Auswaertigen Amt ist der einzige Deutsche, der von 1923 bis 1945 ununterbrochen an den Brennpunkten der europaeischen Politik gestanden hat."

Sehr interessant und ueberraschend lesbar.

Available at antique book stores via

ZVAB (Zentrale Verzeichnis Antiquarischer Buecher)

Ein Diener vieler Herren: Als Dolmetscher bei den Mächtigen der Welt

Wolfgang Ghantus
read a review here...

at Amazon

La voce degli altri - Memorie di un interprete
by Paolo Maria Noseda  (2012)
Chi è l'interprete? È colui che mette in comunicazione due o più mondi, culture e lingue, con un solo obiettivo: far comprendere anche ciò che le parole non dicono. È un filtro, un messaggero, un consigliere e, anche, un funambolo. È la voce degli altri. Paolo Maria Noseda, che da trent'anni traduce e interpreta, ha raccolto in questo libro storie, riflessioni e suggestioni per raccontare un mestiere sconosciuto e prezioso.
Il suo è un talento affinato parola dopo parola, e che prende…

Available here


White House Interpreter: The Art of Interpretation

Harry Obst


The Interpreter

Eugen Dollmann

Another chance find from the bookshop shelves.The memoirs of the German interpreter who worked IT-DE for Hitler when he met with Mussolini.

This cover is the English translation, but the original can be found at antique booksellers on the internet.

Memoirs of an Interpreter

A.H. Birse
Another WWII memoir. This time Churchill's Russian-English interpreter. Old school, but interesting and much of what Birse says about interpreting still applies.

A Foreign Affair

Valerie Barnes

(aka contributor to this site Valerie Taylor-Bouladon)

The memoirs of a pioneer in the profession.

See also the author's own website

The Interpreter

Alice Kaplan
One of the least-known stories of the American liberation of France, from 1944 to 1946, is also one of the ugliest and least understood chapters in the history of Jim Crow. The first man to grapple with this failure of justice was an eyewitness: the interpreter Louis Guilloux.

Read more here!

Available at Amazon

Rodriguez the interpreter

Michael Cooper

Rodriguez the interpreter, an early Jesuit in Japan and China.

Carnets De L'Interprète De Guerre

Elena Rjevskaia
À l’automne 1941, la jeune Elena Rjevskaïa s’engage auprès de l’Armée rouge pour devenir interprète...

(Traduction du Russe vers le francais apparue 2011)

review in Russian


The Interpreter's journal

Benjawan Poomsan Becker
A Thai interpreter describes her life and work...

available at Amazon...

Interpreters at the United Nations
Jesús Baigorri
Jesús Baigorri has published a timely reminder of the role played by interpreters in the history of The United Nations, that most international of all international organisations.

Available here


The Origins of Simultaneous Interpretation: The Nuremberg Trial

Francesca Gaiba
"This book offers the first complete analysis of the emergence of simultaneous interpretation a the Nuremburg Trail and the individuals who made the process possible. Francesca Gaiba offers new insight into this monumental event based on extensive archival research and interviews with interpreters, who worked at the trial. This work provides an overview of the specific linguistic needs of the trial, and examines the recruiting of interpreters and the technical support available to them."


Die Nürnberger Prozesse: Erinnerungen des Simultandolmetschers Siegfried Ramler

Nuremberg and Beyond : The Memoirs of Siegfried Ramler, From 20th Century Europe to Hawaiʻi

Siegfried Ramler
Available in German & English
For more information click here

Naissance d’une profession


The early history of conference interpreting, and the history of AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters, founded in 1953
Video and Film
European Masters in Conference Interpreting - lectures Lectures from some of the best interpreter trainers around, in video format on this EMCI web page. Not to be missed.

EU Commission videos Films about interpreting in the EU

The Whisperers A very balanced and informative documentary film about interpreters on a variety of different markets.
The interpreters
1968 film about interpreting for the EU. Beautifully dated! (Love the harsh accreditation test feedback for example, or the smoking in the booths!)




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