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We are trained to convey ideas, and not words alone. We relay the message received in one language into another, remaining true to the original intent, tone, register and meaning
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About AIIC

Quick overview

For over 50 years, AIIC has defined the practice of the profession by setting high standards, promoting sound training practices and fostering professional ethics.

Members make a commitment to respect AIIC's stringent Code of Ethics and Professional Standards.

In most countries the profession of interpreting is not independently certified. AIIC is the only international organisation which provides informal accreditation to conference interpreters and regulation of their terms of employment and working conditions.

Brokered Agreements

AIIC has negotiated collective agreements with major international organizations governing terms and conditions of employment.
These organizations, including the UN, the European Union and the Council of Europe, recognize AIIC as their official interlocutor in matters related to interpreting.

These agreements cover all freelance interpreters, members and non-members alike.
>> View AIIC's Collective Agreements

Basic texts

Introducing AIIC-MXAC.

AIIC-MXAC is the association of AIIC members in the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean region.


It has 30 members in 8 countries: British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Its Regional Bureau is composed of a Regional Secretary a Public Relations' Representative a Representative of the Region in AIIC's Council and a Treasurer.

If you require assistance on interpreter recruiting and simultaneous interpretation equipment rentals, feel free to ask any of the members of the region.

You might want to have a look at our market sector presentation

The profession

In Europe, French had been the language of diplomacy since the 17th century. Everything changed in 1919 during the Paris Peace Conference when conference interpretation was born in its consecutive mode.

Simultaneous interpreting was used for the first time at the International Labor Conference in 1927 but was not put into use on a large scale until 1945, in the Nuremberg war crimes trial. It was then progressively adopted by the UN in the 1950s.

AIIC was established in 1953 and marked the coming of age of the profession. In the years that followed, guidelines governing working conditions gradually evolved out of the day-to-day experience of interpreters (manning strengths, booth conditions). In 2001, a workload study carried out by AIIC confirmed what empirical experience had already revealed.

These guidelines rule conference interpretation in the world today.

Simultaneous interpreting

In simultaneous mode, the interpreter sits in a booth with a clear view of the meeting room and the speaker, and listens to and simultaneously interprets the speech. Simultaneous interpreting requires a booth (fixed or mobile) that meets standards of acoustic isolation, dimensions, air quality and accessibility as well as appropriate equipment (headphones, microphones).

Consecutive interpreting

The interpreter providing consecutive interpretation sits at the same table with the delegates or at the speaker's platform and interprets a speech into the target language after the speaker speaks. The length of the speeches varies. For this purpose the interpreter may take notes. Consecutive interpretation is not recommended for very technical or long meetings. It is, however, very common in formal speeches.


Whispering is an interpreting mode whereby the interpreter is seated next to one or two meeting participants and whispers the interpretation of the speech. This mode is used mainly when only very few people need interpretation. Whispering is not recommended when several interpreters need to work at the same time in the same room. A team working in this mode requires at least two interpreters. This technique is only appropriate for very short meetings.


An interpreter's language combination is comprised of his/her ACTIVE LANGUAGES (A or B) and his/her PASSIVE LANGUAGES (C).

An active language is the language into and from which an interpreter works. It can be either an A LANGUAGE (native tongue) or a B LANGUAGE (perfect command of a language other than the native one).

A passive language (C LANGUAGE) is the language from which an interpreter translates.

This distinction is important because, outside the profession, not many people know that being able to translate from one language to another does not automatically mean that the reverse is true.

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Hiring Interpreters

Keep in mind that the providers are intermediaries who know little or nothing about interpretation. Most of them will hire interpreters from another source.

None of them can vouch for the quality of the interpreters they provide.

In addition, you will be paying commissions and fees above and beyond what interpreters charge.

The more intermediaries between you and the interpreters, the more you will pay and the less control you will have over the quality of the interpretation.