WORKSHOP IInterpreters Interpreters
Dick FlemingIeva Zauberga
Interpreters Interpreters ?Who are we?
What did we do?
What did we come up with? MESSAGES PRACTICAL PROPOSALS
First MessageWe have/had a credibility problem We appear to be winning Co-operation between old and new booths is crucial Our common objective : a seamless join(From the new booth members)
How can we achieve this objective?Make sure we are all good at our job - by rigorous entry testing - by taking the probation system seriously - by a more systematic provision of person-to-person feed-back and constructive report-writing. Establish closer links between old and new booth members. Prepare our meetings well and observe basic rules.
WHAT WE ALL KNOW BUT MAY SOMETIMES FORGET (professional behaviour in the booth)
1. Interpretation is teamwork, the quality of performance is judged by the booth; therefore it is important to coordinate activities in the booth and see to it that the necessary help is provided to those who need it. 2. Preparation is indispensable for good performance; it is worthwhile arriving some time before the meeting to look through the documents and agree on the terminology to be used. Terminological consistency increases the credibility of the booth. 3. Turn-taking should be discussed before the meeting. Change-overs should be smooth and logical so as not to disturb the client. It is inadvisable to change in the middle of the speech unless it is very long. 4. Checking the team-sheet to see where the relays will come from is helpful. 5. Following the meeting closely is extremely important. Staying away from the booth for a longer period of time not only hampers ones own performance, as information and understanding gaps may easily appear, but also deprives the colleagues of passive support (help with figures, terms)
6. Make sure that you yourself and also your colleagues in the booth have switched on or off the mike and relay buttons, as appropriate. 7. It is worthwhile remembering that the mikes are sensitive and any noise made in the booth, e.g. pouring water, clicking your pen, keeping your mobile phone on (even on silent mode) or using a computer may disturb others. 8. It is also worth remembering that the glass walls of the booth are transparent and therefore activities like eating or raucous laughing could catch the eye of delegates who might find such behaviour unprofessional. 9. Constant chatting in the booth might be found disturbing, distracting and tiring by many colleagues. 10. Tidying up at the end of the day, putting documents that are scattered all over the place in a neat pile before leaving the booth is a useful habit. 11. Any practical problems related to technology, departures, missing colleagues, missing delegates etc. are to be handled together with the Head of Team, who is the first person to turn to if a problem arises.
Second MessageThe quality of relays (C into A) and retours (A into B) is the most important factor affecting the seamlessness of the join.
Be aware of this and adapt your way of working accordingly (see tips for those providing relay/retour)
Recommendations for interpreters providing relay:Articulate clearly; do not mumble.Avoid tension in your voice; sound calm and convincing.Put in clear full stops between sentences but avoid extended pauses in your delivery where possible; a regular, natural flow is best.Names and figures and also words quoted in another language should be enunciated particularly clearly and repeated where possible.Try to convey the speakers message in a clear, unambiguous way.Where you have not understood something it is better to leave it out rather than mumble something incoherent.Keep as close as you can to the speakers style, but add some colour, warmth and intonation to your voice even when the speaker is dull.Avoid overuse of arcane idiomatic expressions (especially those of your own invention).Make sure your mike is on a couple of seconds before you start your interpretation and then start talking as soon as possible to announce your presence- even if you say only Mr. Chairman. Try to finish soon after the original.
Recommendations for interpreters providing relay:Announce the fact that your speaker is quoting a text and in what language. If the speaker quotes a few words/sentences from the text in your language it is often better to repeat the quotation yourself rather than rushing to turn off the mike before he/she starts quoting; turning off the mike can be annoying for your customers (delegates and relayeurs alike) and they might miss the first word or two altogether.Announce changes of speakers/language immediately.Avoid noise in the booth (including use of pencils and turning of pages); this applies to everyone in the booth.Try to keep your relayeurs informed about what is going on in the room e.g. the speaker (and you) have stopped because a mobile phone is ringing. If you have to leave the booth make sure you tell your pivot colleague(s) in other booths; if you are providing a retour make sure you tell colleagues in the booth you are taking over whenever you are out of the booth.Never stop in mid-sentence or leave the booth when you see that your delegates are no longer listening to you without first having made sure that no one is taking you on relay.Do not have the volume so high that your relayeurs (and delegates) hear the original speaker through their headphones.
If you are taking relay:Check before the meeting starts where you can find your relay. Be careful to release your channel quickly when it is being used for a retour. Make an effort to sound lively and convincing since second-hand interpretations can lose their spontaneity. Talk to your pivot before and after the meeting and give constructive feed-back where appropriate.
The message to old booth members is: (please)be aware that you are being taken on relay make an effort to adapt the way you work accordingly prepare the meeting well keep your languages up to scratch
How can you do this?By checking the team sheet carefully to see who is likely to be taking you on relay By making a conscious effort every day to abide by the relay tips By advance preparation wherever possible and by arriving early for on-the-spot preparation By going on refreshers and otherwise continuing to maintain your working languages By practising more (particularly if the language you provide relay from is rarely spoken in meetings) see proposal below By soliciting feed-back from your colleague-customers (and giving constructive feed-back in return to the retouristes in the new booths) By recording and listening to yourself
And the message to new booth members is, please :Carry on preparing your meetings conscientiouslyTry to be more user-friendly when your delegates speak fast or read texts.Keep up the good work of educating your delegates.Keep working on your retour (particularly if you do not get much practice at it in meetings)Learn more languages, but make sure you learn them well. Keep up your own languages (active and passive) and the standard of your work into your own language for your delegates.
A specific proposala suggestion for all interpreters..1. Sign up for the relay/retour training courses 2. Expand the scope of the voluntary practice sessions initiated by our Hungarian colleagues INTO a voluntary all-comers self-training arrangement WITH rooms provided at certain times a co-ordinator for each language?a virtual notice-board for signing up
Things going pretty well It can get even better
Thanks for listening We look forward to your comments, suggestions and ideas