There are also records of interpreters in Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, and the work of interpreters has not changed much throughout the centuries, even during the Middle Ages and the Age of Discovery. This situation continued until the Paris Peace Conferences in 1919, when politicians began to speak in languages other than French, the official language of diplomacy. This cleared the way for multilingualism.

The growing importance of good business relations meant that gestures were no longer enough, and so the interpreter made their first appearance.

The first records of interpreting date from the 3rd millennium B.C., in the form of an Egyptian low-relief in a prince's tomb that makes reference to an interpreter supervisor. Other sources from Ancient Egypt indicate that the activity was mainly linked to Public Administration.

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However, other ancient civilisations, for example, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, have documented the existence of interpreters linked to other fields: administration, commerce, religion and the army.

Interpreters continued to be employed throughout the Middle Ages, in monasteries (where there were monks of many different nationalities), in councils (accompanying preachers in foreign lands), in synagogues (translating the Torah out loud), as well as in business expeditions, military incursions and diplomatic meetings.

The only thing that really changed during the Age of Discovery was the use of new and different languages. During his first voyage, Christopher Columbus noticed that his Arabic and Hebrew-speaking interpreter was not very useful in communicating with the Indians. Consequently, after this voyage, he decided to capture some Native Americans and teach them Spanish so they could help him as interpreters on his next expedition. The same happened with the Spanish that were held captive by the natives: they learned the language and culture and later served as interpreters.

In Europe, French had replaced Italian as the language of diplomacy and the upper classes, which reduced the need for interpreters. This situation continued until the Paris Peace Conferences in 1919, when negotiators, mainly politicians, began to reject the supremacy of the French language in favour of their own languages.

The development of high level contact between nations and the creation of large international organisations led to the birth of a new form of interpreting - Simultaneous Interpreting. Consecutive Interpreting meant that the time spent in negotiations had to be multiplied by the number of languages that each statement had to be translated into, which was a very time-consuming process.

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Despite this initial reticence, the practice of simultaneous interpreting developed and began to be used in some international conferences. But it was with the Nuremberg Trials that simultaneous interpreting was finally accepted, as it was important that such a politically urgent process not last longer than public sentiment could bear.
From then on, simultaneous interpreting became essential not only for big international institutions like the UN or EU, but also in the worlds of business and culture, where people increasingly use this type of interpreting.

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