Conference Interpretation is a term that is usually synonymously with Simultaneous Interpretation. In (extempore) Conference Interpretation (abbreviated SI), the Simultaneous Interpretation renders the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks.
Simultaneous Interpreters (we try to avoid the term Simultaneous Translator) mostly sit in a sound-proof Interpretation booth, speaking into a microphone, while clearly seeing and hearing the source-language speaker via earphones. The Simultaneous Interpreting is rendered to the target-language listeners via their earphones. Moreover, Conference Interpretation is the common mode used by sign language interpreters, although the person using the source language, the Simultaneous interpreter and the target language recipient (since either the hearing person or the deaf person may be delivering the message) must necessarily be in close proximity.
Simultaenous Conference Interpretation is distinctly different to traditional Consecutive Interpretation. In Consecutive Interpretation, in which the speaker stops usually at the end of every “paragraph” or complete thought, for the interpreter to step in to render what was said into the target language. In Conference Interpretation there are no such breaks as they interrupt the flow of the conference. A key skill involved in consecutive interpreting is note-taking, since few people can memorize a full paragraph in one hearing without loss of detail. Interpreter’s notes are very different from those of, say, a stenographer, because writing down words in the source language makes the interpreter’s job harder when he has to translate the speech into the target language.
Full Infographic on slideshare: Globibo ISO 18841 Interpretation Standard Infographic
Conference Interpreting requires in most cases the setup of dedicated professional interpretation equipment. Globibo has a wide range of different Conference Interpretation Hardware and Software Solutions to accommodate different needs of Clients and Interpreters. The key components of an Interpretation System are:
For more information about our Conference Interpretation Equipment, please check out the following page : Conference Interpretation Equipment
While there are plenty established Interpretation Standards like ISO 17100 / 11669 or regional and local standards, the Interpretation Standards ISO 18841 is rather new. ISO 18841 describes basic principles, working conditions and procedures as well as general qualification criteria for Interpretation Projects. In several sections, ISO18841 relates to other standards government language services. For an infographic on ISO 18841, please check out : Globibo ISO 18841 Interpretation Standard Infographic.
Related standards like ISO 20108 and 20109 focus mainly on the technical equipment and ergonomics towards the Simultaneous Interpreter. ISO 4043 focusses exclusively on the mobile booth (a separate standard structures details for in-built booth). Several associations also summarize best practices and code of ethics for Interpreters, but those guideline often risk to swing more towards competition dilution than Customer Quality Assurance.
As Globibo, we have developed an own standard on how to evaluate linguists. Considering our large scale facilities and technical equipment we provide training opportunities for Simultaneous Interpreters as well as aspiring Consecutive Interpreters. Together with educational institutes we try to improve the skill-set from linguists working in conferences.
Simultaneous Interpreters are a very dedicated profession, with thorough qualifications and certifications. Interpreters do not just need linguist talent, but also very specific training on technologies and technical equipment. Beyond the language combination and direction, special attention is given on the specific subject-matter of the conference / meeting and the corresponding background of the linguist. Industry- and domain-knowledge appear to be one of the key driver of project excellence.
Based on international standards, guidelines for associations and policies from different ministries, we have defined a qualification standard and process to select the right linguists for specific projects. With global delivery centers around the world, we have access to a larger pool of linguists and can select balancing talent and cost.
Professor Tsuruta summarizes the most important tips to adopt while working as a simultaneous interpreter. She states that there are 11 qualities that one must possess to really succeed in the career.
You can see the summary of Professor Tsuruta's research in the following video : A Formula for Success in Simultaneous Interpreting. The Interpreting competences summarized in ISO 18841 are very generic and just useful as a general / high-level overview.
Different projects have different requirements in regards to the Interpretation Booth. Over the years we have collected a wealth of experience in regards to the planning, design, execution and monitoring of the setup of small to large-scale booth infrastructures. In this setup, we understand the balance between Interpreters comfort, security and quality level with aesthetic and design considerations.
For more information, please check out the information about Mobile Conference Interpretation Booth
Interested in becoming a Simultaneous Interpreter or improving your skills? Check out our Conference Interpretation Development Program. We use our in-house facilities to provide learning opportunities for talented linguists to experience the latest equipment and test their skills.
More information : Conference Interpretation Development Program
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