As you are planning a large and/or international function in Salt Lake City, have you considered the need for simultaneous interpreting? Meeting organizers often forget that not all participants are proficient in English and may need translation assistance on-site. Many times organizers don’t find this out until it’s too late, after the meeting has begun, and embarrassment is the result. Sometimes there is even a last-minute scramble to locate a conference interpreting company that will speed to the scene …

It’s important to be sure that you request simultaneous interpretation, rather than consecutive interpretation. Simultaneous interpreting allows the gathering to advance at full pace. The listeners will each wear a small headphone or earpiece that enables them to hear the interpreter’s voice while the meeting is going on. Consecutive interpretation, alternatively, slows the meeting down to half speed, since the speaker must pause after each phrase in order for the interpreter to translate.

The conference interpreting company you speak to will ask you questions about your event:

— What are the languages?

— What is the subject matter?

— What is the total number of listeners for each language?

— How many people will be in the room total (or how big is the room)?

— Who will the audience be?

Let the potential interpreting company ask you the questions — it’s a good way to confirm they know what they are doing. Many translation suppliers specialize in other areas of language work — find one that specializes in conference interpreting. Be as specific and thorough as you can in your answers.

Ensure that this agency will be providing skilled conference interpreters. There are various types of interpreting. Many interpreters who are excellent at, for instance, court interpreting, are inadequate conference interpreters; they just can’t keep up to speed.

The interpreters must also be informed about your subject matter. A medical interpreter may be able to explain the insides of a person, but may be clueless about the insides of a computer. Each subject area, especially a technical one, has its own inherent jargon which might be bewildering to interpreters not familiar with that distinct arena.

Conference interpreters as a general rule work as a team of two people per language (or occasionally, three per language in high-stress circumstances). Don’t seek to scrimp by using a solo interpreter, it often backfires — an interpreter who is willing to work solo at an all-day meeting is typically not very experienced. Remember, your attendees may have spent thousands of dollars to be at your conference. You would like them to be able to understand and enjoy it, so next time they’ll return with their colleagues and associates.

It’s a wise idea to obtain quotes from several companies, but it’s not recommended to make the decision strictly on cost. Interpreters aren’t like boxes of cornflakes — each interpreter is different. Each interpreter has a unique set of weaknesses and strengths.

Matching the right interpreters to the right conference environment is a skill that takes many years to master, Choose a firm that you trust in order to make the best selection on your behalf.

Here is such a firm:  Conference Interpreting Salt Lake City

Chris Redish owns A Bridge Between Nations, a Conference Interpreting company with offices in Salt Lake and all across the U.S. He would be happy to provide you with a FREE translation estimate for your next conference, just call 888-556-3887.

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