Language support

The official language of the congress is English and all session and abstract submissions must be submitted and presented in English.

However, building on the success of activities at the WCPT Congress 2017 in Cape Town, WCPT is facilitating interactions in languages other than English at the WCPT Congress 2019 in Geneva. 

For many delegates English may be a second, or even third or fourth language. Amongst WCPT’s 109 member organisations and congress delegates, who come from over 120 countries, there is a multitude of languages spoken. Whilst providing translation and interpretation options are currently not feasible, there are many creative and pragmatic solutions that WCPT is supporting.


  • All 40 clinical visits are provided in French with the majority also in English. Some can provide support in German, Spanish and Portuguese.
  • The Indaba introduced in 2017 will feature again in 2019 and sessions there can be held in a range of languages.
  • The potential for a new free soapbox corner is being assessed – open to all delegates in any language.
  • Poster walks will be held in a range of languages.
  • There may be a course in French and/or German offered.


  • WCPT will hold over 30 official networking sessions and each chair will be asked to have facilitators who can support discussions in other languages.
  • There will be open plan networking spaces to encourage gatherings in other languages.
  • WCPT Congress Connect on Facebook allows you to connect with colleagues in your own language.
  • Congress Volunteers will speak a range of languages and be able to interact with delegates providing support (not as personal interpreters).


You are reminded that:

  • delegates may not be native English speakers
  • we encourage the use of Plain English
  • speaking fast to get lots said in the time allowed doesn’t result in better learning outcomes – slow down and be concise
  • with the 16:9 format for PowerPoint presentation slides you may be able to use your own language skills and split the slide in two to show a second language eg French
  • WCPT would welcome any translated materials you may be able to provide as pdfs to be uploaded to the congress proceedings, or links provided to resources you host elsewhere; this only applies to platform and poster presentations

Technology solutions

They are not perfect yet but they are improving and can be helpful.

For example see:

Google Translate app: on Android and Apple

Speak and translator apps: on Android and Apple