Interpretation Technology Workshop: Orientation and Training, June 2, 2012

On June 2 , DVTA held its first day-long Technology  For Interpreters Workshop with resounding success. Twenty interpreters, who represented 12 languages, were given the chance to actively participate in the use of state-of-the-art technology. The magnificent setting of the St. Davids Golf Club in Wayne and the balmy weather were a bonus to this event, as was the delicious lunch that was included in the very reasonable price of the workshop. In view of the favorable feedback from the attendees, a second workshop is planned for the coming winter at the same venue.

DVTA President , Tony Guerra, opened the event by introducing the conductor of the workshop, Todd Cassidy, President and CEO of MainlineAV. Following this, each attendee was invited to give a brief description of his/her work experience. The following languages were represented: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Korean, German, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu.

Special emphasis was placed on conference interpreting and the attendees were introduced to the technology used internationally today, with a very comprehensive explanation of the terminology used in this field and the equipment options available for conferences. One example was the use of infrared equipment that fully encrypts and secures communication between the interpreter and the room and keeps it within a close range, thus avoiding  outside interference. Todd made a comparison between digital and analog equipment and explained the benefits and challenges in each case such as interference, relay and sound quality. The older analog FM frequency equipment still widely used, is not interference-free whereas that is not the case with the digital equipment. Todd offered sound career advice to the interpreters present. MainlineAV provides conference services for companies and organizations in the US, South America and Europe.

After lunch we all had the opportunity to learn to use the equipment provided for the workshop. It was thrilling to watch the screen interviews of famous international personalities, President Obama and other presidents and dignitaries, and interpret what we heard on our ear phones into our specific language, while having our interpretation simultaneously relayed into the twelve  languages represented at the workshop. I cannot emphasize enough the value of this exercise, especially for those uninitiated in this field.

The day ended with the participation of a panel of experienced interpreters who shared their work experience with the attendees and took questions from the floor. The four panelists were Armando Ezquerra Hasbun (Spanish), Natalia Petrova (Russian), Tatiana Hay (Russian) and Elizabeth Chegezy (Spanish). The interpreters present surely felt empowered by this experience and left with the knowledge that they had taken a very productive first step towards learning about the intricacies of the interpreter’s booth as well as the technical, ethical, professional and practical requirements for a conference interpreter. We look forward to a follow-up to this workshop in the Winter. Stay tuned!

Respectfully submitted,

Carlota Dalziel AOUSC Certified Court Interpreter 4 Glennoll Drive Chadds Ford, PA 19317 (484) 437-2453