Speakers, for any occasion and regardless of the audience size, will prepare their presentation beforehand. People just like feeling ready for things, especially when others may ask unexpected questions. Presenters may have notes to refer back to as they speak in order to remind themselves of important points to cover, or they may have a reminder to bring up a certain point at a specific time during the presentation. Although it can be helpful to memorize what you’ll say, it never hurts to plan for being overly nervous, or to write down a few different responses to particularly difficult questions which people may ask at the presentation’s end.
As a simultaneous interpreter, it makes sense to invest in a similar level of preparation. Although a simultaneous interpreter does not directly give the presentation, there is little real difference. Because interpreters are transmitters of both language and culture, preparation is also very important. Here are a few things to remember:
Simultaneous interpreters should be able to adapt to a variety of situations. They should be equally prepared if a written copy of the presentation is not available or if time to speak with the presenter beforehand is not provided. Interpreters are a bridge between the original speaker and his or her international audience, and it is important to make sure they are prepared for any eventuality. Communication gaps exist because of a lack of linguistic and cultural knowledge, so the interpreter must be both willing and capable of faithfully conveying these meanings.
How do you prepare for a simultaneous interpretation assignment? Let us know in the comments below!