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As a cabin interpreter in conventions, are you given any material about what is going to be said?
Thread poster: Helena Grahn

Helena Grahn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:54
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jan 21, 2011

Like glossaries or any material you can study so as to get prepared for the simultaneous interpreting?

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 16:54
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Simultaneous interpretation Jan 21, 2011

Simultaneous interpretation is different from consecutive interpretation. You need all essential materials in preparation for the job e.g. project outline, context, subject, critical glossary, previous translation, acronym, voice sample of speakers, equipment of microphone, headphone, exclusive room etc.. You still need to do test interpretation before the job. This will prevent accidental failure.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Hedwig Lugaro  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 04:54
Spanish to French
+ ...
Most of the time... but it is always a struggle Jan 21, 2011

We are always prepared and we build our own glossaries for the occasion but we often have to beg for materials.

When clients are used to have this service they are willing to provide all the materials we need but always on the last minute. Even the program keeps changing after the convention begins. Speakers seem to be unable to prepare presentations in advance, so we have to deal with that too. However... better late than never!

Unfortunately, most new clients don't understand the importance of materials for the interpreters and it is a pity. Sometimes we feel we could do a much better job if they just help us prepare in advance.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Cabin interpreter? Jan 21, 2011

I have heard about "cabin fever" but never about a "cabin interpreter." Maybe you meant "booth." This may be a sign of the fact that you don't have any experience as a conference/simultaneous interpreter in a booth and I strongly advise you against just "trying" and walking into a booth without any previous significant experience. You would just get yourself, your colleague and your client in trouble.

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Tsogt Gombosuren  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:54
Member (2004)
English to Mongolian
+ ...
Cabin interpreters do exist at least for EU Jan 21, 2011

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons) wrote:

I have heard about "cabin fever" but never about a "cabin interpreter." Maybe you meant "booth." This may be a sign of the fact that you don't have any experience as a conference/simultaneous interpreter in a booth and I strongly advise you against just "trying" and walking into a booth without any previous significant experience. You would just get yourself, your colleague and your client in trouble.


Please see the cabin for interpreters from the following link:
http://www.european-congress-services.com/html/E_Interpretation_Systems.html

May be, non-natives have used this term.

[Edited at 2011-01-21 06:43 GMT]


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Then sorry... Jan 21, 2011

Tsogt Gombosuren wrote:

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons) wrote:

I have heard about "cabin fever" but never about a "cabin interpreter." Maybe you meant "booth." This may be a sign of the fact that you don't have any experience as a conference/simultaneous interpreter in a booth and I strongly advise you against just "trying" and walking into a booth without any previous significant experience. You would just get yourself, your colleague and your client in trouble.


Please see the cabin for interpreters from the following link:
http://www.european-congress-services.com/html/E_Interpretation_Systems.html

May be, non-natives have used this term.

[Edited at 2011-01-21 06:07 GMT]


It must be a US/UK English. Sorry for my message.


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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 11:54
English to Russian
+ ...
It's a must Jan 21, 2011

Helena Grahn wrote:

Like glossaries or any material you can study so as to get prepared for the simultaneous interpreting?


Hedwig is right: we often have to beg for materials but in my case those materials is a must. After some very unpleasant experience I have strictly decided it for myself: if I don't receive all the reference materials (agenda, list of speaking participants, their speeches, PPT presentations, glossaries, etc.) in due time I simply refuse to accept an interpreting assignment.

Nikita Kobrin


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Viktoryia Baum
Local time: 04:54
English to Russian
+ ...
Not a requirement Feb 9, 2011

Common practice dictates that interpreters are provided materials before the assignment. However, clients are not required to make our job easier for us. It really all depends on how used clients are working with interpreters and whether they even understand the nature of conference interpreting. Most likely, if you are provided with materials, it will happen right before the conference/presentation/etc. Try to make it a habit of sending a few emails to the people responsible for event's organization with a humble request for the materials. But do not get disappointed if they won't be provided - such is life. I discourage you to ask a client beforehand whether or not he/she provides materials - it may suggest to the client that you are not sure of your skills, and you won't get hired. Also, if you've never done such interpreting, I suggest, you do not try an actual job first. This will be nervewrecking and you would not want to ever try again. If you can, spend a few months with a headset in front of the TV and just practice. You'll see what I'm talking about.

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Interpreter246
Local time: 09:54
No materials? Feb 23, 2011

Dear Victoria,

You are advising not to ask a client for materials beforehand as it may suggest you are not competent enough for the job. Is it not the opposite?
Are you saying you can train to be good enough to do a great job without any materials whatsoever? No agenda, no names of participants, no subject. Just go in "blind" and hope for the best?
Does anyone do this ever?


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:54
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The way I understand it Feb 23, 2011

Viktoryia suggests you should simply assume clients can and will provide material, but such will be done as close to conference time as possible (in my experience, materials given early always change in the presentation). I understand she encourages us to ask for them, but not WHETHER they give materials or not (just presume they want to, even when it may not be possible).

"Try to make it a habit of sending a few emails to the people responsible for event's organization with a humble request for the materials..."


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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 11:54
English to Russian
+ ...
No Viktoryia, you haven't convinced me Feb 23, 2011

Viktoryia Baum wrote:

Most likely, if you are provided with materials, it will happen right before the conference/presentation/etc.

The utility of the materials provided right before the event is next to zero. I always need several days to prepare myself for the interpreting assignment. I do know from my own experience that such preparation helps tremendously to do your job on a proper level.

Viktoryia Baum wrote:

I discourage you to ask a client beforehand whether or not he/she provides materials - it may suggest to the client that you are not sure of your skills, and you won't get hired.

Though you discourage us to ask a client beforehand whether or not he/she provides the materials I will continue to do so. I am not afraid of showing that I am not sure of my skills and not being hired for that reason: anyway I refuse to accept an interpreting assignment myself if I don't get the materials in due time.

Nikita Kobrin


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Interpreter246
Local time: 09:54
Agree Feb 23, 2011

You are right Nikita,

Preparation is the key!

I did have a very nerve wrecking experience once because I did not get any materials.
I know I will never let it happen again. It wasn't because I was not good enough but only because my requests for materials were ignored.
I learned from this experience - I would rather cancel last minute and let them worry (it's their own fault anyway) then go in without any preparation.


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mjbjosh
Local time: 10:54
English to Latvian
+ ...
It depends Aug 12, 2011

Nikita Kobrin wrote:

The utility of the materials provided right before the event is next to zero. I always need several days to prepare myself for the interpreting


It becomes a routine if you are working often enough. This year, I have already worked over 110 days. Sometimes I didn't even have an agenda, yet we were provided documentation on spot which turned out to be extremely helpful, albeit only in one of my working languages. Sometimes hundreds of pages of documents were provided in every working language well in advance, but you can't really read them if you are working every day.

[Edited at 2011-08-12 22:45 GMT]


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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 11:54
English to Russian
+ ...
* Aug 13, 2011

Interpreter246 wrote:

I learned from this experience - I would rather cancel last minute and let them worry (it's their own fault anyway) then go in without any preparation.

Yes, that is my position too: if I don't get reference materials in due time I decline an interpreting assignment.


mjbjosh wrote:

Sometimes hundreds of pages of documents were provided in every working language well in advance, but you can't really read them if you are working every day.

No, I don't have interpreting assignments every day. If I had them daily I would be a millionaire already...

Nikita Kobrin


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
A suggestion Aug 14, 2011

Although most of my experience is in consecutive interpreting, I see no reason why it wouldn't be helpful for booth interpreting too. Well before the event, I begin to research both the details of the subject and the organizations and people who are going to be present. I check the biographies of the speakers, review a list of their projects, and so on. I have always found a great deal of useful information on line.

I request materials, of course, but if I don't have them till the last minute, I at least have a solid base from which to work.


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