A successful United Nations training with Cultures Connection’s remote interpreting services

Six interpreters from Cultures Connection translated the training-workshops’ overviews and interactive discussions held by the UN-OHRLLS on transport connectivity. Participants shared insights and advice on several topics, from climate change impacts in transport sector to innovative funding sources.

A well-planned event

Cultures Connection had to prove reactive and fast to make sure that this event would be successful! When we learned that an office of the United Nations approved our interpreting offer for their event, we were thrilled because once again the UN-OHRLLS –Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States– was trusting us to provide them with professional language services. Yet the challenge was that there was rather little time to have a team of Spanish, French, and Russian interpreters fully prepared. Before the event, one of the United Nations panelists shared all the relevant sources of information in English. They provided our interpreters with extensive reading material including PowerPoint presentations so that our linguists could familiarize themselves with the issues brought up during each session. Numerous topics were to be discussed, including all specific examples in several parts of the world.

In Cultures Connection’s team of talents, we selected two interpreters English to French as well as two interpreters English to Spanish for the first training, and two interpreters English to Russian for the second event. Each training was scheduled to last two half-days and it is customary for interpreters to take turns every twenty minutes, hence the need for two interpreters in each language combination.

The day prior to each event, Cultures Connection organized a meeting with the client and interpreters in order to make sure that the virtual conference room was all set and so as to operate the relay channels properly. Distance interpreting can add some stress to the job considering that everyone needs to rely on the technology of their own location. Our Cultures Connection qualified conference technician was able to assist all parties during the preliminary meetings as well as during the UN events. The test runs, once completed, helped all participants feeling at ease with technology, and therefore ready to use the platform for the interpreting job.

Learning about transport connectivity and policies

The two half-day training-workshop took place twice the same week, the first one held for African and Latin American region, and the second one held for Europe and Asia region. Panelists were not identical and languages combinations logically differed since differents part of the world were involved. While some panelists were located at their UN respective office, attendees and interpreters joined the training remotely using a video conferencing platform.

This training on transport connectivity, designed for policymakers, aimed at presenting a variety of tools and innovations to improve transit in several countries.

Panelists examined topics such as sustainable development goals implementation, policies for infrastructure development, climate change impacts in transport sector and protection measures, legal and regulatory frameworks on transit transport, development strategies or innovative funding sources. Examples provided included cases in countries where attendees provide development support, among them Paraguay, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, or Laos. As for the panelists, they came from various international bodies, since some of them work for the African Development Bank, for UN regional commissions from Latin America and Africa, for intergovernmental bodies such as UNCTAD –United Nations Conference on Trade and Development–, or COMESA –Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

A success

At Cultures Connection, we are proud to report that our interpreting services worked just as planned. There was zero technical glitch –we all know this misfortune can happen, strangely at the most crucial times– and things ran smoothly on the video platform. Our team of interpreters excelled, as our client confirmed. Due to a great professional preparation, interpreters were confident while interpreting at these training-workshops. Afterwards, they shared how pleased they were for contributing to such United Nations events. A success it was!

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This article has been written by Marilène Haroux

Marilène was previously an Academic and a Translator. At Cultures Connection she used to be the Vendor Manager as well as Bid Manager. Now Marilène is the Bid and Communications Manager.