EPIC target/simultaneously interpreted texts are accessible by clicking on the links in the left-hand side bar. Each EPIC source text in one of the three languages included in the corpus (Italian, English and Spanish) has two corresponding target texts (simultaneous interpretations) into the other two languages.
For example, all source texts in Italian have simultaneously interpreted versions in English and Spanish (i.e. int-it-en and int-it-es). The reference code we use includes an abbreviation referring to the source text language (in the example above, "it" for Italian) and another one referring to the target language (in our case, "en" for English and "es" for Spanish). This is one of the most significant features of EPIC, in that the corpus includes two interpretations of the same text in two languages within an institutional setting, which guarantees a high degree of homogeinity of the material.
During EP plenary sittings simultaneous interpreting into all EU languages is guaranteed by the EP interpreting services. EP interpreters are all professional interpreters who have passed a selection test, which ensures a homogeneous level of expertise. Some of them are civil servants and are employed full-time by the European Parliament, whereas others are free-lancers and are hired when their language combination is needed in a specific debate or meeting.
As a rule, interpreters work into their mother tongue (i.e. into their A language) from 3 or more foreign languages (i.e. their B or C languages), although there are exceptions, especially as regards interpreting into English.
The European Union enlargement process has led to an increase in the number of official languages and in the number of possible language combinations for the translation and interpreting services. As a result, changes to the EU language regime are being introduced.
As regards the interpreting services, there is a growing tendency to use English as a "pivot language", namely to provide interpreting into English (usually from the less commonly-used languages) so that the English version can be interpreted into the other EU languages.
It must be pointed out that this is not the case with EPIC interpreted texts, which were all produced by native speakers of Italian, English and Spanish.
Additional information on the EP interpreting services and multilingualism is available on the EP website
. More information on interpreting, working languages, language combinations, and many more aspects of the profession can also be found on the website of the Directorate General for Interpretation
, also known as SCIC or JICS, the interpreting service of the European Commission, Council of the European Union and other EU institutions and bodies.
The search parameters provided for EPIC interpreted texts are exactly the same as those available for source texts, with the exception of the fields "political function" and "political group", which are not applicable to EP interpreters.
Generally speaking, EP interpreters have to deal with considerably fast speeches on a wide range of topics (see Header and Search parameters). Note that in the field "duration" (of the interpreted texts) we have actually indicated the duration of the corresponding source texts, although there are always minor differences between the two because of the time lag between the speaker's source speech delivery and the interpreter's output. This time lag, also called "décalage", can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the source speaker's speed, the presence of technical words, lists of items and many others.
This interface is still experimental, and it is under constant revision: please check back often, and let us know what you think