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EUROPA > Interpreting for Europe > Becoming a Freelance Interpreter > Language Regime


Language Regime

Interpreters talk about active and passive languages.

An active language is a language the interpreters speak that delegates can listen to.

A passive language is a language the interpreters understand that is spoken by the delegates.

A meeting with an 20-20 language regime has 20 passive and 20 active languages. In the European Union institutions this means that all the official languages are interpreted into all the official languages. Such a regime is called complete and symmetric.

Reduced regime means that interpretation is provided from less than the full number of official languages.

Symmetric regime means that delegates can speak and listen to intepretation from the same languages.

In an asymmetric regime, you can speak more languages than you can listen to. When we say a meeting has an 20-3 regime it means that delegates may speak all 20 official languages but that interpretation is only provided into English, French and German.

A meeting with an EN-FR-DE-IT-EL - EN-EL is 5-2 meeting where delegates may speak English, French, German, Italian or Greek but interpretation is provided only into English and Greek. Such a meeting has a reduced asymmetric regime.



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