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Home » Interpretation » Simultaneous Interpretation Series Part 2 of 6: Selecting a Quality Simultaneous Interpreter

Simultaneous Interpretation Series Part 2 of 6: Selecting a Quality Simultaneous Interpreter

21st January, 2014 I by Harry Hogue

Welcome to part two of our simultaneous interpretation series! Now that you’re familiar with what simultaneous interpreters do, here are a few points to keep in mind the next time you need one. If you need a refresher on the basics of simultaneous interpretation, check out last week’s blog post.

Simultaneous interpretation is one of the most time-consuming and challenging language services. That being the case, finding a linguist who can effectively provide simultaneous interpretation is both challenging and incredibly important.

Here are some of the steps we at Translation Excellence take when vetting prospective simultaneous interpreters for assignments:

  • Referrals: Referrals are a great way to find quality simultaneous interpreters. The language service community is very tight-knit and many people have partners that they work with often or know of other interpreters. Find a simultaneous interpreter that you trust, and ask them if they know of anyone.
  • Resumes and Certifications: Always be sure to review the resume, certifications, and any other relevant documentation. How much experience do they have in simultaneous interpretation? If the presentations at your event are related to the healthcare industry, how much experience do they have in that industry? What is their educational history? These questions and others will help you determine if the individual is a good fit for the assignment.
  • References: Check references! Resume fraud is a BIG issue in the language service industry today so be sure to request a couple creditable references. Also, check if you have mutual connections with the prospective interpreter through LinkedIn, other social media sites, or interpreters you currently work with. Follow up with these people as well; since interpreters handpick the references they send, they will not always reflect the interpreter’s true ability.
  • Questions: What questions does the interpreter ask you about the assignment? Do they ask relevant questions such as the topic of the event, whether or not presentation slides/notes will be provided in advance, who they will be working with, or what equipment will be provided? The kinds of questions interpreters ask can tell you a lot about their experience.

Do you have any other suggestions for choosing a simultaneous interpreter? Let us know in the comments below!

3 responses to “Simultaneous Interpretation Series Part 2 of 6: Selecting a Quality Simultaneous Interpreter”

  1. Nisar Nikzad says:

    Hello everyone,

    Continuing with our discussion, below is step two of learning how to become a great simultaneous interpreter: To see step one, please read part 1 of this series.

    2. Once you get very comfortable with the process in step 1, translate the speech or discussion and print it out. Then put on your headphones again and listen to the speech and read the translation making sure you are only a few words behind the speaker.

    Did you practice step one of how to become a skilled simultaneous interpreter? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.

    I will continue with step 3 on part 3 of this series.

  2. Soraya Riera says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all this knowledge!

  3. NANY says:

    Information on simultaneous interpreting is hard to find. Thank you!

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