We get up close and personal in this video so you can see Simultaneous Translation Equipment in ACTION - provided by Universe Language Solutions. http://universelanguage.com
In this video, you’ll get a real close, first hand view of what an Interpretation booth looks like as well as some of the electronics that go with it. And of course, you’ll get a really good feel for what it’s like for an interpreter to perform live, Simultaneous Translation.
To set the stage: For this event, Universe provided three Tabletop Interpretation Booths to support Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian. We call them “Tabletops” because they sit on top of a regular six foot table. Now, each booth needs to have its own Radio Frequency (RF) transmitter to broadcast its particular language on its own, unique frequency (channel). If you look close, you can see the transmitters on top of the booths or on the table next to the booth. They’re the little black boxes with the black antenna on top.
Now here’s something maybe you didn’t know. Many times, like for this event, not only do we need to be able to broadcast the three “Foreign” languages… but we also need to be able to broadcast “English”! If you think about it, you can imagine that there will be times when one of the non-English speaking attendees will want to make a comment or ask a question. Well for that, we actually need a fourth transmitter – simply to broadcast English to the English-Speakers. Gets a bit complicated, so I’ll leave it at that for now.
The next thing I’ll point out is the Interpretation Console that sits on top of the table inside the booth. While watching the video, you’ll see them on the tables between the two interpreters. They’re the electronic boxes with the blue and red illuminated buttons on them. Universe uses IC-2’s (Interpretation Console-2) made by Williams Sound. They’re pretty much the state-of-the-art here in the United States.
And of course, you can see that each interpreter wears a special headset that has both earphones (so they can hear whoever is making the presentation) and a microphone (that picks up their “Interpreted” version of the presentation to send to that booth’s transmitter). Yeah I know… a bit technical but thought you’d like to know.
Now moving onto something you really may be interested in knowing… We titled this video “Simultaneous Translation Equipment”, but that’s not really accurate. Here’s the way it is out there: The general public doesn’t understand the difference between Translation and Interpretation. So most people think what’s going on like you see in the video is “Translation”. But it’s not. It’s technically called “Interpretation”.
Here’s the deal. “Translation” refers to the something in writing and “Interpretation” refers to the spoken word. Not clear yet? This should help: Exact, literal translation can be done with written language because the Translator has time to think. Time to come up with the most exact, meaningful “Translation” that is possible.
But at a live event like you see here, the “Interpreters” don’t have time to think. They MUST keep up with the presentation. That’s why they use the term “Interpretation”. They say the most “More or Less” version of what they’re listening to that pops into their head at that particular moment.
Quick example: If a Spanish Interpreter hears “It’s really expensive” in English. The first thing that pops into their head, at that split-second, may be “It costs a lot” (meaning they’ll say those words in Spanish). Both phrases mean the same thing and convey the same message, but they’re not literal, exact “Translations” of each other.
To sum all that up… If/when you see or hear the phrase “Simultaneous Translation Equipment” what it really means is “Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment”. Anyway…
Getting a bit long-winded here, so better wrap it up.
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