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What is interpreting?

Case Studies

Are you planning a conference, but unsure how to organise the employment of interpreters for all the different languages? In order to give you some idea of how to go about this, we have constructed some case studies for employing interpreters at international conferences.

Case study 1

Medical conference with 350 participants

Languages spoken: English (approx. 30%) and German (approx. 70%)
The listeners understand: English, German and French
Interpreters’ working hours: 1 day from 9am to 12:30pm (with a coffee break) and from 2pm to 5pm

                                              (with coffee break) – total working time approx. 6 hours
Form of presentations: short presentations


Organisation of the booths:

  • 1 booth for German-English/English-German (2 interpreters)
  • 1 booth for German-French/English-French (2 interpreters)

Interpreter requirements:
German/English booth: both interpreters to work from German into English as well as from English into German (English A-language and German B language or vice versa)
French booth: both interpreters to work from both English and German into French (English and German = B or C languages, French A language)


Conference equipment necessary:
2 fully equipped interpreting booths
350 receivers with earphones
1 lapel microphone for the speaker
4 wireless microphones to be used for questions from the audience
PA system and audio mixer


Other things to think about:
• Documentation (presentation outlines, PowerPoint slides, background information etc.) for the interpreters should be available approx. 2 weeks before the event.
• In order to ensure that all the receivers and earphones are returned, it is advisable to obtain a receipt for each headset that is handed out. Personnel should be made available to deal with this.
• Questions from the audience must be spoken into a microphone, so that the sound can be transmitted to the interpreting booth. Personnel should therefore also be available to hand around the wireless microphones.
• In order to possibly reduce the number of headsets required, it should be established whether or not all the listeners actually need a translation.

 

Case study 2

Sales workshop with 20 participants

Languages spoken: English (approx. 80%), German (approx. 20%)
The listeners understand: English or German
Interpreters’ working hours: 2 days from 8am to 1pm (with 30 min coffee break) and from 2pm to 6pm

                                              (with 30 min coffee break) – total working time approx. 8hours


Organisation of the booths:

  • 1 booth for German-English/English-German (3 interpreters)
  • As the working time exceeds 6 hours, 3 interpreters are needed.

Interpreter requirements:
All three interpreters work from English into German as well as from German into English
(English B-language and German A-language or vice versa)


Conference equipment necessary:
1 fully equipped interpreting booth
20 receivers with earphones
1 lapel microphone for the speaker
Delegate’s units for the participants


Other things to think about:
• Documentation (presentation outlines, PowerPoint slides, background information etc.) for the interpreters should be available approx. 2 weeks before the event.
• The participants should be instructed to always speak into the microphone, otherwise the interpreters cannot hear them.

 

Case study 3

Company meeting with approx. 200 German speaking listeners, the German speaking management board and labour representatives as well as a board member from the USA

Languages spoken: English, German
The listeners understand: German (200 persons), English (1 person)
Interpreters’ working hours: total working time approx. 45 minutes


Form of presentations: 5 presentations in German, one presentation in English

How does the interpreter do his/her work?

Since all the listeners understand German, the German presentations do not have to be interpreted.

The American Executive Board Member is given a (written) translation of the German presentations. In this case, one interpreter is sufficient which helps to save costs.

The consecutive interpreting method is used to interpret the American’s 15 minute presentation into German and any queries from the employees into English.

Interpreter requirements:
The interpreter must be able to interpret from English into German and vice versa by means of consecutive interpreting.


Conference equipment necessary:
Microphone and loud speaker system


Other things to think about:
• Documentation (presentation outlines, PowerPoint slides, background information etc.) for the interpreter should be available approx. 2 weeks before the event.
• One should keep in mind that consecutive interpreting lengthens the speaking time, since the presentation is rendered a second time in the target language.

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