University opens An Teanglann - state-of-the-art interpreting suites

t the official opening of An Teanglann – conferencing interpreting suites at University of Galway were (left-right) Morag Neath, Head of the English and Irish Booth, at the Director General for Interpretation at the European Commission (DG SCIC); Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh; Director General for Interpretation at the European Commission (DG SCIC), Genoveva Ruiz Calvera; President of University of Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh; Professor Rebecca Braun, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, University of Galway; Dr Aodhán Mac Cormaic, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media; and Susan Folan, Programme Director of MA Conference Interpreting at University of Galway. Credit - Andrew Downes/Xposure
Apr 23 2024 Posted: 12:36 IST

University of Galway has officially launched its new state-of-the-art conference interpreting suites and teaching facility An Teanglann, marking its position as the lead institution in Ireland for educating interpreters and translators.

The facilities mark a significant milestone in the advancement of language interpretating training, education and research in Ireland and their development was made possible thanks to collaboration of the European Commission, the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media and University of Galway.

Director General for Interpretation at the European Commission (DG SCIC), Genoveva Ruiz Calvera, officially opened An Teanglann.

Ms Calvera said: “It is an honour to attend the opening ceremony of the interpreting suite and to see that the long-lasting cooperation between DG SCIC and University of Galway is bearing fruit with young interpreter graduates already providing Irish interpretation for the EU Institutions.”

Thomas Byrne T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for the Gaeltacht, said: “I am delighted that my Department, in conjunction with the European Commission, has been able to provide the funding for this hugely impressive conference interpreting training suite at University of Galway. Having state-of-the-art facilities available for students to learn the craft of conference interpreting is a great achievement and I have no doubt that the addition of the conference interpreting training suites will attract many students to the MA in Conference Interpreting and will lead to a steady stream of skilled interpreting graduates with proficiency in Irish and in other languages who are available to take up important roles in Europe.”

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “The launch of these Conference Interpreting Suites represents a momentous occasion for our University and for Ireland as a whole and they are a strong symbol of our value of excellence and the opportunity for the highest standards in education.

“I would like to acknowledge the invaluable support of the European Commission and the Government for this project to train the next interpreters for Europe and around the world. It is enabling the empowerment of our students as future leaders in the field of conference interpreting and underscores a commitment to promoting multilingualism and the highest standards of interpreting in the EU and beyond. 

“We warmly welcome the Director General Genoveva Ruiz Calvera to our University, whose presence underscores the significance of our collaboration and the mutual commitment to advancing language interpreting education and practice.” 

Professor Rebecca Braun, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, said: “Through collaborative efforts and innovative initiatives, University of Galway remains dedicated to shaping the future of language interpretation education and advancing cross-cultural communication on a global scale. We are delighted to see the opportunities that the conference interpreting facilities presents for our students, as well as for developing and sustaining the relationships with organisations such as the EU and the UN and professionals in the sector.”

Susan Folan, Professional Conference Interpreter and Programme Director for the MA in Conference Interpreting, said: The new facility confirms University of Galway’s standing as the sole institution in Ireland offering specialised training for future conference interpreters. These new suites allow for multilingual meetings with interpretation in six different languages simultaneously. The technology links our students with professional trainers and interpreting researchers all over the world from right here on campus. Graduates are entering a dynamic and global profession having experienced a dynamic and comprehensive classroom.”

An Teanglann is made up of three interpretation suites, with a total of six booths, each of which has standard two interpreter consoles and is equipped with the latest technology.

All three suites can be connected to allow for larger meetings, with greater language coverage, and also allow for remote simultaneous (RSI) training, which has become a market reality post-Covid.

The suites are designed to facilitate immersive learning experiences, further advancing interpreter education and hybrid teaching, which involves University trainers, who are all practising professionals, and interpreters working in international partner institutions such as the European Commission, European Parliament, European Court of Justice and the United Nations, which enriches the learning experience and ensures relevance to real-world scenarios. 

The facility is being used by those studying on the MA in Conference Interpreting, which currently takes 15 students a year. Students on the Masters programme this year come from Ireland, Canada, Spain, Colombia, Italy and France, with a spread of languages native to each country, as well as German and English. The programme has capacity to cater for other languages, depending on demand.



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