The German Association of Conference Interpreters, known by its German abbreviation VKD, is a member association of the German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ). With over 7,500 members, the BDÜ is the largest professional association of interpreters and translators in Germany.
The VKD was founded in 2003 and currently has over 700 members in Germany and 15 other countries. VKD members collectively offer over 30 working languages.
As Germany’s largest association of conference interpreters, our mission is to represent the interests of our members before international bodies, associations and the wider public.
In Germany, the conference interpreting profession is not protected by formal requirements. In other words, no formal qualifications are necessary to work as a ‘conference interpreter’ or ‘interpreter ’. Potential clients are hence unable to recognise at first glance whether they are dealing with genuinely professional, qualified interpreters or not. Clients may sustain negative experiences because of insufficiently trained and unprofessional interpreters, which impacts negatively on the reputation of the professional community and weakens confidence in the work and role of conference interpreters.
Against this backdrop, the VKD serves as a source of guidance for potential clients who are looking for qualified, professional conference interpreters.
The VKD represents the community of qualified conference interpreters. All applicants undergo a thorough admission process and, once accepted, pledge to observe our Professional Code of Ethics.
We offer a comprehensive programme of CPD courses, thus ensuring that our members remain well-trained. Clients who contract VKD members can rest assured that their multilingual event will be a success.
- All members of the VKD have undergone a stringent admission process. Either they hold a university degree in conference interpreting or the quality of their work has been confirmed by means of an endorsement by other long-standing members of the VKD.
- VKD members provide you with sound advice on all matters relating to conference interpreting and will also assist you during the event in question.
- Thanks to our large membership, professional VKD conference interpreters are to be found virtually all over Germany.
- Professional conference interpreters barely ever work alone, since simultaneous interpretation requires teamwork. To maintain a high-quality service, they work in teams of at least two. For longer events, a larger team is required.
- High-quality services require a high-quality environment. The requirements to be met by built-in and mobile simultaneous interpretation systems and booths are set out in the relevant DIN (German) and ISO (international) standards pertaining to conference interpreting equipment.
- There is nothing like direct contact. Agreements are always concluded between the interpreter and the conference organiser, or alternatively between the interpreter and the party to whom the organiser has duly assigned responsibility for handling the contractual and financial aspects of recruitment, e.g., an event agency or conference centre.
- Professional conference interpreters interpret verbally delivered statements only and strive to transport said statements with precision into the other language, taking into account the content, the sense and the cultural context in which the original was uttered.
- Professional conference interpreters are bound by strict professional secrecy. They work to the best of their knowledge and belief and reject any influence by third parties..
- Professional conference interpreters thoroughly familiarise themselves in advance with the subject matter of each individual event at which they work.
Our database of conference interpreters lists all members of the VKD as well as their language combinations, areas of specialisation and contact details. Potential clients are invited to use the database to find the right team of qualified professional interpreters for their event.
It is also used by consultant interpreters seeking to recruit colleagues on behalf of their clients.
Should you have any questions about the German Association of Conference Interpreters (VKD) or our affiliation with the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ), please contact our Press and Public Relations officers, who will be happy to help.