The Linguist

The Linguist 53,1

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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18 The Linguist FEBRUARY/MARCH FEATURES C onference interpreting is often used as a synonym for simultaneous interpreting, though it encompasses both simultaneous and consecutive work. It takes much longer to interpret consecutively, but this kind of interpreting is still used on some occasions, such as press conferences and after-dinner speeches. The ease of use of mobile booths and the variety of subjects covered means that conferences can be organised almost anywhere. The day of the conference starts early. Whether I wake up at home or in a hotel room, I begin by watching the news: never to be underestimated are the last-minute news stories or football results that a speaker may refer to in the opening speech. Forewarned is forearmed! Before leaving for the conference venue, I check that I have everything I need for the day: a printed map with the venue address (you never know when your sat nav will fail), client contact details, a hard copy of the presentations, a USB stick, headphones, my laptop with digital copies of the conference documents, my smartphone, chargers, various pens and the all-important medicine. Paracetamol, Strepsils and eye drops are essential, as I often get a sore throat, headache or itchy eyes because of the temperature in the booth or air conditioning. I always aim to arrive at least 45 minutes before the event starts and, if I stay in a hotel, I usually travel to the venue with colleagues. Upon arrival, I meet my client and a representative of the language service provider, if they chose to come to the event. Then I head to the booth, and greet my booth partner (simultaneous interpreters always work in pairs) and the other interpreters. At this stage, I locate the booth technician. Should you have any problems with the equipment, this will be the person you need to talk to. After a quick check to verify that everything is in working order, I also ask for a wi-fi password, where that is available. In my experience, the wi-fi does not work most of the time, so a good plan B is to access the internet on your smartphone or via a 3G key. It is important to locate the toilets and the room where coffee and meals will be served at this stage. Knowing your way around the venue – and ideally a shortcut – can be very useful when dozens of delegates are trying to get to the same place at the same time. Conference interpreter Charlotte Monnier examines the environment for linguists working in the booth Let's get physical CONFERENCE INTERPRETING

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