Cultures Connection has recently provided simultaneous interpretation services in English and French, this time for a visit of Nigerien parliamentary senior officials to the National Assembly in Paris. The meeting between senior parliamentary officials was aimed at exchanging information on the administrative functioning of the different parliaments and oversight procedures in view of the development of the strategic plan of the National Assembly of Niger.
How did our company provide professional interpretation services? First, our team listened to our clients to determine their needs and expectations for this event. Of course, we had to match the venue, the magnificent 18th century Palais Bourbon, home to France’s deputies.
This article will help you understand the process and challenges of a simultaneous interpretation service, in three parts:
- Meeting with an international delegation of senior officials
- Characteristics of simultaneous interpretation
- Professional interpreters pre-event preparation
Meeting with an international delegation of senior officials
Crucial to the event, the interpreting mission consisted of exchanges “on administrative operations and control mechanisms” in order to develop a strategic plan. A delegation of ten senior officials from the Nigerien parliament visited the National Assembly, so that the parliamentary officials could exchange with their peers from the French and Danish parliaments. A few days before the interpreters’ mission, the client provided reference documents in French and English. These documents allowed the interpreters to familiarize themselves with the subject matter in advance.
Essentially, this meeting was about nothing less than the proper functioning of democracy! Indeed, the event was part of a European Union-funded project, INTER PARES (Latin for “among peers”), Parliaments in Partnership. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) is responsible for the implementation of this international project. This intergovernmental organization, which supports sustainable democracy around the world, works with governments that are committed to, among other things, the rights and fundamental principles of democratic pluralism.
This was not the first time that International IDEA trusted our agency for interpreting services. Highly satisfied with our work in previous interpreting assignments, the international institute once again called on our skills for a two-day conference interpreting assignment.
Characteristics of simultaneous interpretation
Simultaneous interpreting –also known as conference interpreting– is an interpreting technique that allows speech in a source language to be communicated in real time to listeners in a target language. Some of the main characteristics of simultaneous interpretation are the following:
– Speed: Simultaneous interpretation takes place in real time. Therefore, it is necessary to keep pace with the speaker’s speech to ensure a smooth and coherent interpretation. Simultaneous interpreters process information quickly and convey it clearly and accurately;
– Concentration: Simultaneous interpreting requires a lot of focus and attention on the part of the interpreter. Interpreters have to listen carefully to the speaker while translating their words into another language, obviously without being distracted by other sounds or words;
– Accuracy: Interpreters must be precise and accurate in the translation of each word/expression and each idea expressed. It’s imperative not to misinterpret the meaning of the original message. Likewise it’s crucial to remain faithful to what is being said;
– Technical equipment: For simultaneous interpretation, professional technical equipment is required. This equipment may include soundproof booths, audio consoles, high quality headphones, microphones, and various transmission systems. Clear communication without any interference is the goal.
Specialized schools and programs offer courses and training in simultaneous interpretation. Developing this highly specialized skill requires specific training and practice in order to master the skills necessary to perform it. National and international professional interpreters’ associations offer valuable training, guidance and advice to complement the academic course. These associations play an essential role in promoting best practices and providing continuing education for interpreters who wish to remain current in their field.
Conference interpreting is a type of interpreting that requires interpreters who are well versed in this field. That is why our translation agency makes it a point of honour to recruit fully competent professionals who have not only the required qualifications but also extensive professional experience.
Professional interpreters pre-event preparation
Over the years, Cultures Connection has developed a large network of experienced interpreters in many languages and fields of expertise. Our translation agency selected two professional conference interpreters in Paris to interpret the exchanges during the event. For this project in French and English, two interpreters specialized in international organizations and institutions were chosen. Both are graduates of the best translation and interpreting schools. The French and English native speakers have years of experience. Their assignments are usually with various United Nations agencies, the European Union, various international agencies and ministries. Sometimes they also interpret for major media and multinational companies.
International IDEA sent a several-page document that included the schedule and topics of the exchanges. With this helpful document, the interpreters were able to do some essential preparatory work. The two interpreters were able to find out about the role of the various participants, the European strategies concerning parliaments and the objectives of the exchanges. The compilation of a glossary of terms could also serve as a support during the work.
Following the interpretation service that our agency provided, we were informed that the work of the two interpreters had given complete satisfaction during INTER PARES’ exchanges at the National Assembly with the Nigerien delegation. In addition to the technical service, as human relations mean a great deal to us, we were delighted to hear from International IDEA about the “pleasure of having them with us during these two days.”
The Cultures Connection team is always happy to receive positive feedback. Nothing compares to the satisfaction that a job was well done and appreciated by our clients!
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