HeiCIC – The Heidelberg Conference Interpreting Corpus – a collaborative project created at the behest of the research community. It currently features several hundreds of recordings in the eight floor languages of the Heidelberg ShowCase CI Studies Conferences series. Gleaning empirical data to lay the foundation of further research into high performance strategies has been on the tops of our  minds for years.

Now the MA Conference Interpreting Programme has a slate of technical conventions to showcase advanced methods of conference interpreting. Both the efficiency and levels of performance afforded by modern, partially automated preparation methods for LSP conferences can now be explained and documented using large amounts of machine readable data.

The project aims at collecting and analysing the Heidelberg Conference Interpreting Corpus. HeiCIC collates recordings of conferences in different LSP contexts: engineering, shareholder meetings. The main research focus of the initial project phase is to qualitatively and quantitatively explore interpretation strategies in relation to types of preparation and genre/ register (field, tenor, mode).

Students contribute as part of the research community, working on projects for their term papers, MA or Ph.D. theses. They also look into the corpus in our interpreting courses to validate quality criteria of preparation strategies and the method inventory of high performance strategies. Interpreters work in simultaneous booths into and between the working languages of our MA Conference Interpreting Programme.

To contextualise the learner corpus, young professionals and seasoned (AIIC) interpreters work alongside as a reference, producing several interpretations of the same presentation in parallel. Recordings and their transcriptions along with meta data are aligned with information about interpreters’ preparation strategies and resources (e.g. glossaries, CAI tools and CCT maps).

Students contribute as part of the research community, working on projects for their term papers, MA or Ph.D. theses. They also look into the HeiCIC corpus to validate quality criteria of preparation techniques and the method inventory of high performance strategies to manage semantic priming cues and glossaries for technical meetings digitally.

CIRP Server Log-In (Conference Interpreting Research Server)

LookUp Matrix Pro

LookUp Matrix Pro - an AI based CI Automation Tool: The next Generation of CAI

Computer Assisted Interpreting

Computer Assisted Interpreting (CAI) has come a long way since the early days of looking up terms during SI. Today, there are good tools for terminology work, term extraction and glossary management. 

In the age of AI based on bionic chips and self-training algorithms, today’s machines can construe your intentions and offer automation for sections of your workflow. iOS Shortcuts with their plethora of prefab workflows are useful out of the box, yet fully flexible. 

The GitHub/ BTT Better Touch Tool based workflow automation community and thousands of coding professionals have now taken this to a new level: Use taps, swipes and gestures to remain concentrated on content while you intuitively control how knowledge and terminology merge into an ideal basis for the booth. 

Here are some useful traditional (glossary oriented) tools and suites:


Interpretbank (C. Fantinuoli)

Interpreter’s Help

Intragloss (Dan Kening)

Interplex (Peter Sand)

LookUp Pro  (IÜD Heidelberg)

HeidelTerm CCT Maps (upcoming)

Research Today: 

Designed as two of the first terminology tools for use during interpreting :  DolTerm (1993) and, professionally programmed with hundreds of seasoned AIIC professionals using our research Software Lookup Pro worldwide, the professional conference interpreter‘s had finally been mapped. 

Most CAI Tools and Workbenches today are designed along this workflow established for the first time at this scale in professional interpreting. Based on extensive research at the University of Heidelberg, our Workflows are extremely capable and go far beyond the legacy of Workbenches in both features and versatility. And it is fully open source and supported by swarm intelligence from coding, interpreting professionals and a host of research projects at the University of Heidelberg.

MA Conference Interpreting

Conference Interpreters work for International Institutions such as the European Union, the United Nations and the European Central Bank. They translate Heads of State and Government, ministers and opinion leaders in the limelight of international relations, technical conferences and scientific conventions.

It goes without saying that such responsibility comes with a measure of exposure as the wordings interpreters choose while thinking on their feet come under close scrutiny of the public eye.

To train responsible professionals who meet these exacting standards is the mandate which the University of Heidelberg has vested in its postgraduate master’s programme for conference interpreters.

Practicing conference interpreters train carefully selected cohorts of young talent to hold their own under the unforgiving strain of being on‐air at technical conferences, where hundreds of listeners can depend on the skill of that one interpreter who currently works the mike.

Organising vast amounts of technical terminology, scientific papers and documentation are just some of the skills involved. Seasoned professionals also re‐arrange the concepts of a speech to render the meaning clearly and succinctly in the target language. Clarity of mind is as important to a conference interpreter as is excellent command of language.

In the day and age of befuddled communication in idioms spoken as a foreign language, delegates and conference organisers increasingly use interpreters to render communication more effective and focused on content matter ‐ using communication professionals has become a hallmark of being professional.

Founded in 1930, during the early days of simultaneous interpreting, it is to our knowledge the oldest and most venerable such programme world‐wide. Likewise, it has become outstandingly successful when it comes to the success of its graduates, having trained a very large share of the professionals who work with German in their combination throughout Europe.

The University of Heidelberg’s MA in Conference Interpreting is an Ivy League international training programme. It is a springboard to careers of interpreters working for Embassies, Federal Ministries, the EU and in the Private Market, comprising eight core languages, with German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian ‐ most also as A‐Languages, which gives it unique international standing among similar programmes.

The course is designed by professional interpreters in the spirit of AIICs (Association Internationale des Interprètes de Conférence) core values for interpreter training, in close collaboration with the heads of interpreting at international organisations and consultant interpreters. Both syllabus and evaluation criteria are constantly fine‐tuned to meet exacting professional standards.

Moving beyond the day‐to‐day experience of professionals, the faculty of IÜD are collating their collective experience systematically in research projects: Interpreting Science today has become an established discipline in its own right, with thousands of publications.

Systematically optimising strategies, organising them into interpreting models, and learning modules make for better interpreters: at a Heidelberg University competence level.

DigiLab timeline

Bereits in der Ausbildung von Dolmetschern werden die Strategien und Sub- Kompetenzen angelegt, die später charakteristisch für die Herangehensweise und den Arbeitsablauf in der Praxis sind. Zur Illustration sei in der Folge die Arbeitsumgebung, die diese Strategien prägt, beschrieben.

1999 wurde am Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen der Universität Heidelberg das Projekt DigiLab gegründet. In einer elektronischen Lernumgebung stehen seither Übungen zum gezielten Training der Einzelstrategien des Dolmetschens mit detaillierten didaktischen Handlungsanleitungen zur Verfügung. Im Archiv können dazu für jedes Modul geeignete Reden, sowohl als Aufnahme als auch als Manuskript, als Übungsmaterial verwendet werden. Dabei werden die getrennt eingeübten Subkompetenzen zusammengeführt und die Koordinationsprozesse (Meta-Strategien) eingeübt (cf. Kap. 2.2.2 Kognitive Konkurrenz: Modell zur Gleichzeitigkeit).

Anschließend entwickelten die Dozenten Lernmodule, so genannte Neuronale Drill-Module zum gezielten Training der automatisierbaren Strategien. Dazu gehören neben diskursanalytischen, vor allem die syntaktischen Umstrukturierungs- und KonzentrationsmanagementStrategien, aber auch MetaProzesse zur Steuerung der Einzelkapazitäten.

Im Rahmen von Diplomarbeiten wurden diese Lernmodule weiter ausgestaltet, sodass heute, für jedes in den wissenschaftlichen Übungen diagnostizierte strategische Defizit, gezielte Übungsmodule zur Verfügung stehen.

Quelle: p. 99 ff Kapitel zum Erwerb hochleistungsfähiger Simultanstrategien am IÜD Heidelberg: Stoll (1999): Jenseits simultanfähiger Terminologiesysteme: Methoden der Vorverlagerung von Kognition im Arbeitsablauf professioneller Konferenzdolmetscher, WVT Trier.



DigiLab – New Approaches to Interpreter Training in: Greiner/Kornelius, AREAS Annual Report on English and American Studies 99

Terminology Systems for Simultaneous Interpreters in: Greiner/Kornelius, AREAS Annual Report on English and American Studies 20/2001

Dolmetschen und Neue Technologien in: Übersetzen und Dolmetschen, UTB Best/Kalina (Hrsg.) 2002

New Technologies in Conference Interpreting: Interpreting and Videoconferencing in: Austermühl, F. und Appollon, D: Humanities Education and The Challenge of E-Learning

Neue Technologien im Konferenzdolmetschen: 

DigiLab, ein Forschungsprojekt am IUED Heidelberg in: Kelletat, A. (Hrsg.), Dolmetschen

Terminologiesysteme für Simultandolmetscher in: Mayer/Schmitz/Zeumer (Hrsg.) DTT eTerminology 2002

WVT “Jenseits simultanfähiger Terminologiesysteme: Zur Vorverlagerung und Fixierung von Kognition im Arbeitsablauf professioneller Konferenzdolmetscher” WVT 2009.