You have devoted sufficient attention to preparing your lawsuit,
meeting or conference. You have also thought of interpreters.
interpreter's successful performance depends not only on the
himself or herself, but on
a number of external factors as well;
for this reason, we have included
below a brief guide to working
An interpreter's successful performance is closely related to his
her being well prepared, which requires that the interpreter
receive sufficient information (see point 1). For a pleasant-sounding
translation, the speaking tempo must be slow enough (see point
2); furthermore, optimum use of the equipment available is also
required (see point 3).
1) INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION
Interpreters must receive adequate information promptly (no later
one week before the job is to begin) and preferably in both
working languages if available, so that they can prepare for
duties. Such information may include the schedule,
the agenda, a list of participants, the minutes of previous meetings,
court papers, technical reports, general information concerning
the company and other documents.
Interpreters are accustomed - and, because they are sworn, bound
- to strict confidentiality as regards the information with which
they have come into contact while carrying out their professional
2) SPEAKING SPEED
It is important that the interpreters' presence be taken into account
during the conference or meeting. The speaking speed should be
this is vital particularly when texts are read aloud.
After all, a simultaneous interpreter must listen, comprehend,
translate, speak and put thoughts
into words all at once; this
simply takes more time than putting thoughts
into words and speaking
alone do. Consequently, a moderate speaking speed is essential
and will allow the message to be conveyed much
better to those
listening to the translation.
Interpreters must receive beforehand any texts to be read aloud.
Additionally, it is advisable to inform the speaker(s) that the
speed should not exceed 100 words per minute
double-interlined typed page).
3) USE OF MICROPHONES
Simultaneous interpreters sit in a soundproof booth. For this reason,
it is essential that speakers use microphones effectively.
The following is a list of general guidelines:
- It is important that the speaker speak
directly into the microphone
and not turn his or her head. If
someone is to give a presentation,
a clip-on microphone is often a good solution.
- In general, no more than three microphones should be turned
at any one time; otherwise, they will interfere with one another.
- If there are to be questions from the audience, a microphone
be used (e.g. a roving microphone). Sometimes people in
conference room can understand one another well without a
but as the interpreters will be sitting in their booths,
will hear … nothing.