When organising an event, you want everything to be perfect. If the event is multilingual, the organisation is more difficult, even more so if you have never dealt with interpreting before. If that is the case, I can advise you how to arrange interpreting services and equipment in order to avoid unnecessary hassle and to ensure satisfaction of guests, interpreters and your own.
Thanks to my specialised education, I am able to use adequate strategies even in unexpected situations so the audience can listen to a fluent speech without interruptions. I prepare thoroughly for every event, even if it is a small one, to be able to use precise terminology and react swiftly.
I will never go to a booth on my own to make sure that the listeners enjoy fluent interpreting during the whole time. If you are interested, I can recommend you my colleagues who can cater for interpreting services with me.
Translation is a written transfer from a source language to a target language, interpreting is an oral transfer.
There are several divisions, but interpreting in general can be divided into simultaneous, consecutive and guide interpreting.
Simultaneous interpreting takes place in an interpreting booth simultaneously with a speaker. It represents a significant time-saver because the interpreting ends almost immediately after the source language speech. It is very cognitively demanding, which is why it is usually done by two interpreters who take turns after certain periods (approximately 20 – 30 minutes).
Consecutive interpreting takes place after a speaker has finished speaking. Thus, the overall speaking time is doubled. Similarly to simultaneous interpreting, it is very convenient if there are two interpreters who take turns after 20 – 30 minutes. Interpreters usually make interpreter’s notes or notation.
Guide interpreting is, simply put, guiding foreign guests through sights, interesting places, factories, etc. It can either consist of interpreting a guide or giving lectures in a foreign language. With this type of interpreting, the interpreter accompanies their listeners all the time. If the interpreted event is longer, it is again suitable to have at least two interpreters.
Besides the main types, there are also several other, less frequently used types of interpreting.
Chuchotage means whispered interpreting right at the ear of a listener simultaneously with a speaker. It is even more challenging than simultaneous interpreting since the interpreter does not have any equipment. It can be used only if the number of listeners is very small (ideally up to 5).
The interpreter sits or stands behind the listeners (depending on what they are doing) and interprets in a low voice, so-called sotto voce, into their ear simultaneously with the speech (so it is simultaneous interpreting without equipment). It can be a little intrusive for nearby listeners.
It is also very convenient to have two interpreters who take turns since besides the already stated reasons, the strain on the interpreter’s vocal folds is much bigger. The speaker should be informed beforehand as well so that they do not think somebody is talking through their lecture.
Sight translation is simultaneous interpreting from a written medium, i.e. the interpreter reads a written text in another language.
Interpreting is usually invoiced by day (up to 8 hours) or half a day (up to 4 hours), so if for instance the whole event lasts 6 hours, 1 day is invoiced, if it takes 2 hours, one half a day is invoiced. If the interpreted event is very short (1 hour max), the interpreter invoices a so-called minimal rate.
Interpreting is a very difficult activity, the second most stressful job in the world after air traffic controller. It combines a lot of actions at the same time – with simultaneous interpreting, it is listening to a speaker, re-coding the speech in another language, producing the speech in another language and self-check along with other actions like anticipation of the following course of speech and using short-term memory to store the previous sentences.
With consecutive interpreting, the interpreter combines listening to a speaker, writing interpreter’s notes, understanding the meaning of the speech and keeping information in short-term memory. When the speaker finishes, the interpreter must use short-term memory, read the notes, produce speech and self-check it at the same time. In the majority of cases, all of the above is coupled with a high specialisation of the source text. Interpreting is therefore a very challenging activity and human brain cannot sustain it at an appropriate level of quality for more than app. 30 minutes.
Timelag or décalage are names for a time period by which the interpreter is “delayed” with regards to the speaker. Ideally, the interpreter should have as short a décalage as possible, because otherwise the listeners start looking back over their shoulder to see why they cannot hear anything when the speaker has obviously already begun talking. However, the truth is that even a long décalage is not a problem, but the interpreter must remember much more information. It is purely individual.
Interpreter’s notes or notation is a schematic account of speaker’s speech used in consecutive interpreting. Interpreter uses it to write down the basic information, facts and relations among them. It is not shorthand, notes with whole words nor bullet points. Interpreter uses their own individual style, signs, abbreviations, and so on. Even a few days or weeks after the interpreting event, they are usually not able to reproduce a speech only with their notes since they depend heavily also on short-term memory. Similarly, another interpreter often cannot interpret their colleague’s notes.
No. Interpreters do not come automatically with interpreting equipment. This is provided by specialised companies (which I can recommend upon request). They prepare headsets and equipment for interpreters, sound equipment, listening boxes for listeners and microphones. It is very convenient to have a technician come with the equipment to set it up and deal with eventual problems.
No. With consecutive interpreting, you only need a microphone, preferably a standing or headset microphone, since the interpreter is writing a notation.
Simultaneous interpreters preferably sit in a booth behind the audience in such a manner to see the speaker (which is why a bigger room is convenient). The booth should be sound-proof (for example by means of an anti-noise protection).
Consecutive interpreter should stand or sit on the stage with the speaker (behind them) and then step forward and interpret their speech. The interpreter strongly appreciates if they have a counter on which they can put their notebook.
Simultaneous interpreters need two headsets and preferably two microphones. If this is not possible, they can work with one microphone (but two interpreters certainly cannot work with one headset). Consecutive interpreters preferably need a standing or headset microphone.
Interpreters should be provided enough water (when you do not drink and speak a lot, the voice quality deteriorates). You should also pay for their journey to the interpreted event. If the event is longer than half a day, the client should cater for refreshments and if the event lasts more days, also accommodation (if the event takes place in the evening, it is about an agreement with the interpreters if they need somewhere to sleep).
Ms. Maťúšová is very intelligent, friendly, and easy to work with. I would highly recommend her for any task where translation or interpreting from English into Slovak or vice versa is required.
The MEUS organisers of the conference were fully satisfied with Ms Maťúšová’s performance throughout the whole conference and are happy to recommend her for further interpreting assignments.
Ms Maťúšová has taken on her task very well and professionally, her interpreting was of high quality from the point of view of expert knowledge. We also appreciate her fluent speech and memory skills. We highly praise the overall interpreting impression and would like to express our gratitude.
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