How to create a simultaneous interpretation training program?
Thread poster: Andre Dumoulin

Andre Dumoulin  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 18:51
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 7, 2010

I would like to share with you a request from my employer, which is a small university in Latin America.

The university trains students for a degree called "Licenciatura en Ingles y traducción" (Bachelor Degree in English and Translation), with an official diploma recognized by the local Ministry of Education.

But so far the academic offer is limited to translation of documents English-Spanish and Spanish -English, and consecutive interpretation. (which is what students enjoy the most to practice).

I am in charge of some of these courses.

Presently the university is inviting me to prepare a budget for installing a simultaneous interpretation system for improving the academic offer and also to be able to hold events with simultaneous interpretation, using the services of our best students.

Like the other members of the staff, I am very interested in carrying out the project.

However, we are not experienced in the procedures to follow to develop a successful academic offer in simultaneous translation.

The most immediate task is the purchase of the equipment : I already have an offer from a US company, for a portable system for simultaneous interpretation in 2 languages, with 1 booth, 1 base station tranmitter, 50 receivers, 2 interpreters headsets, shipping cost...The university can afford the cost.

But the question is: Would it be possible to find Proz members experienced in simultaneous interpretation who would be willing to mentor us and to hold for us some video conferences and/or webinars about making a good use of these new tools that we intent to purchase? These services would be retributed, of course, and I this part of my topic.

Please let me freely know your thoughts and thank you for your feedback!!!

[Edited at 2010-06-07 01:35 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-06-07 01:50 GMT]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:51
Flemish to English
+ ...
Ciuti.org Jun 7, 2010

Why don't you contact one of the schools on www.ciuti.org or ciuti.org itself.
I know that 1 of those schools (Lessius hogeschool) helped to set up an interpreting program in Russia.


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Andre Dumoulin  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 18:51
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you. Jun 7, 2010

Thank you for this excellent reference.

[Edited at 2010-06-07 12:44 GMT]


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 01:51
English to Hungarian
+ ...
A bit confused Jun 7, 2010

Do you have significant experience in simultaneous interpretation?
If you do, you probably have a pretty good idea of what a good system is like and how to use it. If you don't, how are you going to teach the subject?
Or are you just helping out with the equipment, not the teaching?

[Edited at 2010-06-07 13:24 GMT]


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Andre Dumoulin  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 18:51
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarifying Jun 7, 2010

At this point I am just helping out with the equipment, and regarding the teaching my opinion is that information technologies (Video conference, webinars, SCORM (with m, not n ) ...) may help to monitor a training program even if we don't have qualified teachers for this subject.

As long as the salaries are what they are here we can't expect hiring good simultaneous translation experts. We are still an "emerging market country".

But with an easy-to-handle equipment available, at least we could organize simulations, training contests. Even if we don't have experts to teach the subject on site, we can imagine using the help of experts online, and our students will feel motivated and empowered, and the dimension of the challenge is very attractive. Education is a ladder, having upper steps difficult to reach also help to climb the lower steps.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 01:51
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I see Jun 7, 2010

Best of luck. I don't know much about the various brands of equipment etc.

I do know that your needs will differ quite a bit from the needs of people who use the equipment for actual work. For practice, you surely won't need 50 receivers as there won't be more than 10 people listening at any given time. You'd be better off building more booths (don't buy the booth, just have it built locally for next to nothing... just needs some mostly soundproof walls, big, preferebly double glass panes, a table, hopefully some ventilation and a hole for the cables to pass through). Of course the second booth means you need more equipment and a transmitter system that can handle at least 3 channels: the floor and the two booths, and receivers that have the same 3 channels. It may or may not add to the cost, I imagine that 2 interpreter's mikes/switchboards+10 receivers won't be more expensive than 1 mike/box and 50 receivers, and would allow you to practice much more efficiently.
Ideally, you'd have a booth for every two students so everyone can practice at the same time with the teachers listening in on them at random. You probably don't have the budget for that but I'd at least consider getting 2 booths instead of 1.


The whole thing is complicated by another issue: whether you want to rent out the equipment. In principle, renting the kit out could be a VERY handy source of income for the school, but if you decide to go down that route you'll probably need the 50 receivers and at least one mobile booth, plus a technician who can set the whole system up on the client's site and of course it could interfere with your practice schedule.

Edit: also, if the school has a good internet connection and computers you can use without much concern for bandwidth or traffic, you could possibly get the sort of remote teaching you were talking about, as well as have access to some real life material. For example, here's a plenary session of the European Parliament: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/wps-europarl-internet/frd/vod/player?date=20100209&language=en&format=mp4
You can pick any session or search by speaker and listen to the original and the interpretation into all the languages. You can even download multilingual video files, so you can, say, listen to a speech in the original language, record yourself interpreting it, then compare that with the performance of the EU's interpreters.

[Edited at 2010-06-07 15:41 GMT]


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Magdolna Kovacs
Local time: 01:51
English to Hungarian
interpretation Aug 24, 2010

It is interesting what you offer.

Simultanous interpretation.


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