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Equipment for simultaneous interpretation
Thread poster: Ana P. Gutierrez

Ana P. Gutierrez  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 2, 2007

I have for the first time being asked to quote a simultaneous interpretation job, where I would have to provide the equipment.

I did a quick search of rental equipment, and found some companies that didn't list their prices, but said to send them an email with details about the assignment so they could provide a proper quote.
Well, I did, I sent an email to at least 6 companies: None of them replied.

Am I missing something? Perhaps they don't like to deal with freelancers and prefer to only deal with agencies?

Another concern of mine is that I do not feel comfortable renting equipment I do not know how to use, and am thinking that I would need to hire a technician to help me set it up and make sure it works througout the event (6 hr conference).

Or, perhaps I should not even quote a job where I provide the equipment. I'm wondering if some/most of you do.

Any sound advice would be appreciate it.

Thanks to all my colleagues,
Ana


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:09
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Better to call and only than write an email Aug 2, 2007

At any case you should quote for both. And then you should call the equipment renting companies, otherwise they may think, it is just a spam email.
I was asked to quote for the equipment some times. So I got a quotation from the equipment renting companies. But at the end the client just engaged me for interpreting. If you dont have any special prices for the equipment, so the client normally will do it by himself, but you can still get the interpreting job.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Personal Contact Aug 2, 2007

Seeing where you are located, it should be no trick to locate other colleagues and agencies that can rent equipment to you and make personal contact with them. Probably you can start here and find other Prozers in your area.

You should use wireless equipment (transmitter and receivers) and avoid a fixed-base transmitter at all costs.

Have the client make a commitment as to how many receivers are needed; supply and charge for that. Make the client responsible for the cost of any lost receivers; they are expensive, no good to anybody else but people walk off with them in pockets and purses.

Use a sign-up list and you might even consider a deposit of an ID (drivers license, etc.). Draft someone from the client's team to help you pass out and monitor receivers, if they are responsible for paying for missing ones, they should be glad to help.

The equipment I describe is very simple (just turn it on and use it) but you need to insure they all have good batteries, are set to the right channel and test them all first. Yes, they can often fail. Conditions in rooms and buildings can also cause interference.

I have always worked with other people who have the equipment so I have not had to bother with that detail.

Finally, you should ask yourself if you can handle a 6 hour conference all by yourself. Few interpreters can do that without collapsing unless there are a lot of breaks.

So find a partner who has equipment.


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Ana P. Gutierrez  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great piece of information regarding interpretation equipment rental Aug 2, 2007

Thank you Erika and Henry.
I will call for estimates rather than email and will start doing some networking to find out other colleagues in my area who may have information or access to the necessary equipment.
Henry, I also appreciate the great advice about the handling and precautions regarding the equipment. I'll make sure to take care of all those important details.

Sincerely,
Ana


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Networking Aug 2, 2007

Glad you mentioned that. I cannot recommend more strongly that you network with your colleagues. It can be a good source of work and a good source of resources when needed. Here when a good conference comes along we make up a team and handle it, because among all of us we have the resources. And when someone hears of a translation job they cannot do for any reason, that is also shared.

We compete in the marketplace, but we cooperate with one another and it works to the benefit of all.


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teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Excellent advice from Henry Aug 2, 2007

Ana, Henry already gave you great advice. This comes as no surprise, since he lives in my area and I know him personally. The only thing that I would add, would be to make sure that you rent extra equipment, in case two or three receivers don't work.

It's always best to have the client handle the equipment rental, that way you don't have to worry about that. But, if you can't, make sure they provide you with someone who'll be responsible for handing them out, and collecting them. A brief announcement at the end of the conference always helps, reminding everyone to stop by a table by the exit door to return their equipment.

And most definitely, work with another interpreter during the conference. Taking breaks every hour is a must!

As a passing comment, I'll tell you about something that happened to me during the last conference that I did. No one told me that during the two day conference, the group would break out into smaller groups in different rooms. It wasn't my mistake, since I wasn't told in advance, but yet, I had to handle the problem. We could not do team interpreting, because my colleague was in one room while I worked in another. That late in the game, I could not change my rates to hire another interpreter. The client felt bad, and we did our best. It goes to show, that sometimes, no matter how prepared you think you are, things go wrong. We can only do so much. Try to get copies of any written material in advance so that you have an idea of the subject matter. And like Henry said, you won't need a technician. Get the equipment the day before, and do a quick test, that should be enough.

Good luck to you!


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Ana P. Gutierrez  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great tips about simultaneous interpretation equipment Aug 2, 2007

Thank you SOO much teju (once again), for your valuable input.
Thanks to all!
(:
Ana


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:09
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Equipment Aug 3, 2007

Hi,

Just a suggestion, these days I've been working with an NGO for past several months and they have their own equipment. Of course, they don't have the cabin. But the mic and other stuff (wireless).

It's not really that expensive. They imported it from the US and a set of 15-16 cost them 40000 INR i.e. app. 1000 USD.
The company is called Williams or Williamson (or something similar).

Guess you'll find it if you do an online search.

I guess it is expensive but then if we can invest almost that much for computers/ laptops that we use for translation why not buy something for interpretation. But I guess it will be useful only if you do a lot of interpretation. And you can actually include the rental charges in your interpretation fees. So it is a longterm investment.

And considering that these people managed to get it delivered in India, I guess it was sold online (Just a guess).

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Ritu


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:09
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Networking Aug 3, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

We compete in the marketplace, but we cooperate with one another and it works to the benefit of all.


I agree.

It is the best thing I've heard in last couple of days.


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