A conference interpreter is rarely considered an important part of a bilingual event, until the audience looks at the event’s coordinator in confusion because they are literally lost in translation.
This very easy guide will help you get a better understanding of what all the components of the Interpreter’s brain will mean to you, and make it easier to decide what you want, need, and which elements to prioritize per the specific requirements of your event. That way, you will be better prepared to get the right interpreter for your company, and avoid spending more money than necessary, while getting the most out of your investment.
1. Wired or Wireless?
This is probably one of the simplest choices to make, and one that can have a huge impact on the overall cost of your interpretation service, including expenses that might not come at the time of hiring, but during the actual event. In general, if a wireless and a wired configuration are boasting of the same performance specs, the wired option will be cheaper. It might not make sense, since it requires bigger equipment, installation, consoles, and wiring, but the ability to move around space, free of wires is what ups the price of the mobile technology.
If you plan on having a steady conference and don’t need to run around with your devices, consider getting a wired interpreting setup and saving yourself some money, or spending what your budget allows, in getting a more specialized interpreter. If you often need your interpreter on the go, for example, when running technical or practical workshops, on-site or out in the field, the choice is simple: wireless. Keep in mind that you will still have to hire the interpreter if you are not requesting the service as a package from a company that offers a bundle with the devices.
2. Know the interpreter and get references
The simplest way to explain the interpretation activity is that it is the brain that communicates your speaker to your audience. If you want a fast communication that boots up information in a flash, completes sentences as soon as you start them, and doesn’t keep you waiting, then you want the strongest interpreter available — and who doesn’t? You just have to know what you’re looking at when you see the translator’s details, which are most reliable from talking to previous clients.
Basic: Usually cheap does mean poor quality. Most bilingual people believe that because they understand two languages, they are capable of transferring information, in real time from one language to the other, but as they set out to do it, they find that this activity is way more demanding that what they initially thought. On occasions, teachers of foreign languages will sign up for translation jobs at ridiculous prices. Teaching is hard and extremely underpaid, while translation is costly, if you compare teaching hours to translation hours. However, while a teacher may handle 25 kids playing around in a classroom, he may be overwhelmed by the simple fact of having to listen to someone else, while understanding how to explain what they are saying in a different language, without the possibility of hearing themselves to make sure if what they are saying makes sense. In other words, translating is a speech jammer, and not everyone can do it. To the untrained brain, the process of translation takes a lot longer than what simultaneous interpretation requires.
In short, bilingual brains are like computers: Multiple cores can help with multi-tasking, as each can be working on different languages. If you don’t use a lot of programs at the same time, you may be content with just one or two cores and don’t need to find the extra money to get a few more, but if you are offering your audience a multiple language event, you want to hire a person who has not only the two cores that understand both languages, but also the other two cores that allow that person to listen to and produce information at the same time.