Simultaneous interpreting – how to prepare in 4 weeks?
Thread poster: Jaga22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 21, 2006

Hi everyone!

I have been offered an interpreting job with a long-term client and I am wondering if you have any tips as to how to prepare. Any advice would be more than welcome. I mostly translate documents but I have done consecutive and simultaneous interpreting occasionally (medical, legal). I interpreted for this particular client various times in the past but on slightly different terms. Usually these were more informal assignments for smaller groups as well as training sessions and workshops (2 days max). Now it is going to be on a different continent, for an extended period of time (one week) and it is going to be a big event with a lot of people participating. And these three factors are making me a little nervous... Any tips as to what helps in terms of not getting nervous, preparation, travel tips, etc.?

I am familiar with the terminology and I do have the outlines for the presentations. So I am not too worried about the terminology itself (nonetheless I will for sure study hard in preparation).

In terms of practicing before the assignment I thought of listening to some radio programs with guest speakers and interpreting out loud. I am thinking this should calm my nerves a little bit. Any other tips?

As for the travel part, I realize I will need to be well rested (yes, there is a jet lag issue), that I have to be well prepared and have all the essentials with me, including eucalyptus drops just in case I happen to have throat problems.

If you could offer any advice and tips as to what works for you, especially in cases of longer interpreting assignments (there will be another interpreter, but still, a week to me seems to be a long time), I would be grateful.


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Krokatao Consulting
English to French
+ ...
you'll be ok Jun 22, 2006

your plan sounds ok to me, as long as you have the notes--you will be great, good luck, sounds really exciting!

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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:51
English to Hungarian
+ ...
long assignment... Jun 25, 2006

You are doing the right thing.
As for nerves, the moment you have to open your mouth, you will concentrate so hard, that you'll forget about them.
Once the first "performance" is over, you will be more relaxed.

Good thing that you mentioned the other interpreter.
This sort of assignment has to be shared by two people.

If there is a meeting or presentation, both of you should be present and alternate at around every half an hour. Some people can do a bit more in one go, but sometimes it may be better to switch even sooner. You will see the program, and discuss it with the other interpreter.

On less formal occasions, like dinner, or may be a visit to see something for a couple of hours, one of you can cope, so you can agree, who is doing what.

Do rest a lot, when you have free time.

I hope for your sake that the other interpreter is at least as experienced as you are.

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Spanish to English
+ ...
Thank you for your responses! Jun 26, 2006

I haven't met the other interpreter but I do know that he is more experienced. This will be a great opportunity to learn from him I am certainly hoping to be able to alternate quite often because I am unable to concentrate for hours - I get a headache when interpreting (simultaneous int) without a break for an extended period of time - and the sessions are about 2-2.5 hours each.

Thanks again for your advice, juvera and Consult Krokatao; it is great to know your thoughts.

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