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Conference Interpreting



Simultaneous interpretation : the interpreter listens to the ideas from a source language and expresses them, with comparable meaning, in a target language. This action is done, simultaneously, that is, as the speaker is talking. The equipment transmits the interpretation to the listeners´ headphones in the meeting room while interpreter works inside a booth to achieve the highest level of concentration. Simultaneous interpretation is ideal for a multilingual event where time has to be kept strict: conferences, professional seminars, international summits, bilateral or multilateral meetings, product campaigns, marketing campaigns, etc. If the event lasts more than two hours, the presence more interpreters is required.     


Consecutive interpretation : the interpreter receives the speaker’s message and takes notes; when the speaker feels that s/he has expressed a contained idea, the interpreter conveys every semantic element (tone and register), intention and feeling of the message into the source language, in a consecutive manner. Consecutive interpretation is ideal for press conferences, meetings between chief executives, business meetings and interviews with the media. It is important to take into account that consecutive interpretation will extend the duration of the event; this is why it is ideal for brief gatherings.


Whispering : the interpreter sits or stands next to a maximum of one or two target-language listeners while whispering a simultaneous interpretation of the message that is being conveyed. Whispering interpretation is ideal when only one or two people do not know the languages that are being used in the gathering. It can be practiced in conferences, professional seminars, international summits, bilateral or multilateral meetings, etc. Depending on the nature of this assignment, you may need to hire two interpreters if the event lasts more than two hours. 


Sight interpretation : in a simultaneous fashion, the interpreter conveys the ideas expressed in a text into a foreign language. Lawyers frequently request this interpretation mode when they do not have the time to wait for a written translation of a certain document but need an immediate, general understanding of it in order to prepare a trial. Sight interpretation is also practiced in head-of-state and government speeches.


Escort interpreting : an interpreter accompanies a person or a delegation on a tour, on a visit, or to a meeting or interview. This interpretation mode involves relaying what is spoken to one person between two, or among many, people. This can be done consecutively or as whispering. Aside from notes taken at the time, the interpreter can also use a body pack or portable interpretation system. Escort interpretation is ideal for: industrial plant visits, audits, business prospect trips, etc. Depending on the duration and nature of the event, you may need more than one interpreter to cover an assignment, especially if it lasts over two hours.


 Body pack :  it is a portable interpretation system that consists on 1) a portable transmitter that is attached to the interpreter’s garments, 2) as many receivers (up to 30 in order to insure the quality of the sound) as needed. The interpreter speaks through the transmitter’s microphone and the audience can hear her/his voice through the receivers. This device is ideal for plant visits and business meeting in “petit comité”.


Floor : it is the term used to refer to the sound that comes directly from the speakers microphone, as opposed to the interpreter’s microphone. The message issued from that microphone will be heard by the audience that is not using a headset. The sound technician will send that signal straight to the interpreter’s console, so that the interpreter receives the message through the headsets and in a very clear manner. This is key to an interpreter’s good performance.


Relay: it is when the interpreter interprets a message coming from another interpreter’s booth in order to simultaneously convey the message in a different language. This system is used when the message needs to be interpreted in several target languages simultaneously.


Transmitter : is the electronic device that sends the interpreter’s message to the audience receivers.


Receiver : is the electronic device that receives the interpreter’s incoming message.


Console : the control unit that receives the signals from the floor, the wireless microphones (that allows audience’s intervention) and the other interpreter booths. 


Target language: the language the message will be translated into. In Mexico, it is Spanish.


Spurce language : is the language being translated from, In Mexico it is any language other than Spanish.


Language pair : it consists of a source language and a target language. A language pair has a direction, English to French, which is not the same as French to English.


ISO 4043 booths: The standards are produced by AIIC. They should be sound-proof, measure 1.60 m wide x 1.60 m deep x 2.00 m high and have a silent ventilation system. This will ensure better communication and trouble-free listening by delegates.​


Infrared simultaneous interpretation system : By using a higher frequency band (2 to 6 MHz) it operates way beyond the reach of all types of hall lighting. Furthermore, a much higher signal/noise ratio, plus in-built error correction, gives a crystal clear signal throughout the venue. This loss-free transmission means sound comes out exactly as it goes in, which improves speech intelligibility and therefore leads to greater listening comfort.


AIIC : founded in 1953, the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) now brings together 3000 professional conference interpreters in more than 250 cities and over 90 countries. AIIC interpreters are bound by a strict code of ethics and professional standards.


NAJIT : The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) is a non-profit professional association founded in 1978, and dedicated to the mission of promoting quality services in the field of court and legal interpreting and translating. Our members play a critical role in assuring due process, equal protection and equal access for non-English or limited English proficient (LEP) individuals who interact with the judicial system.



Informative translation : texts aimed at a wide public with non-specific information and standard lexicon, that is to say, neither technical nor specialized. Notes, text books, encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, publicity.


Financial and commercial translation : texts in the area of finance. Commercial letters, reports on economic results, auditing reports, marketing reports, balance sheets, financial statements, purchase contracts for stocks, etc.


Technical translation : texts that explain and specify processes, steps and/or procedures in an exact manner. IT, engineering, architecture, industry.


Scientific translation : texts from the scientific community that present or demonstrate research results or advances. Doctoral dissertations, scientific articles, medical texts.


Legal translation : texts from judicial cases. Due to their importance and complexity, these are generally considered and studied as an independent group. Legal sentences, edicts, lawsuits, contracts, etc.


Literary translation : all texts that have poetic or literary functions. Prose, poetry, theatrical works.


Quality control : all translations are checked by a second specialist based on the original text and the resulting translation. The quality-control specialist is in charge of applying the pertinent techniques, and corrections, if any. He eliminates any misinterpretations and checks the proper use of terminology, as well as consistency, language, translation and edition so the text can be read as if it has been written in the target language.


Proofread and copy editing : a proofreader checks only the final text to assure clarity and congruency, spelling, syntax, grammar, style and format; this step ensures that the text is perfectly legible for the final audience. Like quality-control, this is recommended for high-profile projects. The service can be requested to complement translation services or to revise a client-written text which needs to be in optimal conditions before its publication.


Localization : also known as regionalization, this consists of taking international elements and adapting them to a specific region. In information technology, its use significantly reduces training needed by an end user to operate a computer system. This includes changing formats for dates, currency, calendars, measurement systems and any other element that might be susceptible to affecting the user´s understanding in any given place. This is also applicable to publicity, informative texts and films.


Terminology management :  acronyms, synonyms, abbreviations, jargon -from IT, legal, medicine- can cause frustration for translators, especially when attempting to translate them without a clear understanding of their meaning. Terminology management helps achieve consistent, accurate translations by using tools to store, retrieve and organize terms with a clear set of rules. Terminology management allows you to achieve effective and accurate translations by organizing these terms with a clear set of rules for their usage; this ensures that the correct term is used within a translation.


Certified or sworn translations : translations sometimes have to be "sworn" or certified for various purposes, such as when providing official translations for public authorities. In Mexico a certified translator is a translator who has passed the requisite certification exam administered by the Supreme Court of Justice of any of the 32 states in the country. 


ATA : it is a professional association founded to advance the translation and interpreting professions and foster the professional development of individual translators and interpreters. Its 11,000 members in more than 90 countries include translators, interpreters, teachers, project managers, web and software developers, language company owners, hospitals, universities, and government agencies. 





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