Simultaneous interpretation is one of the most challenging types of interpreting. It requires split-second decisions and excellent memory recall. Not everyone is cut out for this type of interpreting, but with the right simultaneous interpreter training, anyone can improve their interpreting skills.
What is Simultaneous Interpretation?
Simultaneous interpretation is a type of interpreting where the interpreter speaks at the same time as the person who is speaking. This is different from consecutive interpretation, where the interpreter speaks after the person is done speaking.
Simultaneous interpretation is often used in a conference (conference interpreting) or other events (community interpreters) where there are multiple languages spoken. It is also used in some court settings.
Simultaneous interpretation requires the interpreter to listen to the speaker and interpret what they are saying, all while speaking in the other language. This can be very difficult and is not something that everyone can do.
There are a few different ways to interpret simultaneously. The most common method is to use simultaneous interpretation equipment. This equipment includes headphones and a microphone. The interpreter listens to the speaker through the headphones and speaks into the microphone.
Another method is to use a relay interpretation system. In this system, there are two interpreters. One interpreter listens to the speaker and then relays what they said to the second interpreter. The second interpreter then interprets what was said into the other language.
The last method is to have the interpreter interpret without any equipment. This is called sight translation. The interpreter reads a written text in one language and then interprets it in the other language.
Simultaneous Interpreter Training
Simultaneous interpretation is a very difficult skill to master. It requires excellent memory recall and split-second decisions. If you are interested in becoming a simultaneous interpreter, there are a few things you can do to improve your interpreting skills.
Here’s how to become an interpreter.
Get Training From a Professional Interpretation School
If you want to become a better simultaneous interpreter, one of the best things you can do is get training from a professional interpretation school or university. There are many benefits to this type of training for students.
First, you will learn from experienced instructors who can help you improve your skills.
Second, you will have the opportunity to practice your interpretation skills in a real-world setting.
Third, you will receive feedback from your university instructors that can help you improve your performance.
Fourth, you will have access to state-of-the-art interpretation equipment that will help you better understand the source language. By getting training from a professional interpretation school or course, you can become a better simultaneous interpreter and provide more accurate and consistent interpretations.
Attend Workshops and Conferences on Interpretation
Another great way to improve your simultaneous interpretation skills is to attend a workshop or conference on interpretation. These events are usually held by professional organizations such as the American Translators Association or the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators.
At these events, you will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and network with other simultaneous or conference interpreters. These events can be very beneficial to your career and can help you improve your interpretation skills.
Join an Interpretation Community or Forum
Many interpreters are members of online communities or forums. These communities can be a great resource for interpreters of all levels. In these communities, you can ask questions, get advice, and share resources with other interpreters.
You can also find mentors who can help you improve your interpretation skills. By joining an interpretation community, you can gain access to a wealth of experience that can help you become a better interpreter.
Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the best ways to improve your interpretation skills is to practice as often as you can. You can practice with friends, family, or colleagues. You can also practice by attending events where interpretation is required, such as conferences or speeches.
The more you practice, the better you will become at simultaneous interpretation. A good way to practice is to record yourself interpreting and then listen back to the recording. This will help you identify areas where you need improvement.
Use interpretation Software
There are several software programs that can help you improve your interpretation skills. These programs provide interactive exercises that can help you practice your interpretation skills. They also provide feedback that can help you identify areas where you need improvement.
By using interpretation software, you can become a better interpreter and provide more accurate interpretations for your clients.
One thing to remember is that not all interpretation software programs are created equal. Some programs are better than others, so it is important to do your research before choosing a program.
Stay Up-to-Date on Current Events
It is important to stay up-to-date on current events if you want to be a successful simultaneous interpreter. This is because current events can impact the interpretation of a text. For example, if there is a political crisis in a country, the interpretation of that country’s laws may change.
By staying up-to-date on current events, you can ensure that you are providing accurate interpretations for your clients. You can also use current events to work on your interpretation skills so that you can be ready for anything.
Brush Up On Your Language Skills
If you want to be a successful simultaneous interpreter, it is important to brush up on your language skills. This means that you should review the grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciations of the languages you will be interpreting. You can do this by reading books, watching movies, or listening to podcasts in the language you will be interpreting.
So if you want to become a Chinese translator or interpreter, you should start by finding out more about the language and its associated culture. You can do this through various courses in translation, taking Chinese classes at a university or school, or even studying abroad for an extended period of time with native speakers.
One of the easiest ways to brush up on your language skills is to use an online language learning program such as Duolingo. These programs can help you review the basics of a language and also provide you with exercises.
Understand Culture and History
To be a successful simultaneous interpreter (or conference interpreter), it is important to understand and be familiar with the culture and history of the countries you will be interpreting for. This knowledge will help you to understand the context of the text you are interpreting.
It will also help you to avoid making any cultural mistakes that could be offensive to your clients. For example, if you are interpreting for a country with a history of conflict, you should be aware of the sensitivities that come with that so that you can avoid any potential communication pitfalls.
Stay Calm Under Pressure
One of the most important skills for a simultaneous interpreter is the ability to stay calm under pressure. This is because interpretation can be a very stressful job. There will be times when you are interpreting for high-stakes meetings or events. If you cannot stay calm under pressure, you may make mistakes in your interpretation.
This can be detrimental to your career as an interpreter. On the other hand, if you can stay calm under pressure, you will be able to provide accurate interpretations for your clients.
For example, if you are interpreting for a meeting and someone starts to argue, you will need to stay calm so that you can continue to provide an accurate interpretation of the discussion. Note-taking is a great way to help you stay calm.
Have a Good Sense of Humor
A good sense of humor is also an important skill for a simultaneous interpreter. This is because there will be times when the situation you are interpreting for is very serious. If you do not have a good sense of humor, you may take the situation too seriously and make mistakes in your interpretation.
For example, if you are interpreting for a meeting about a political crisis, you may need to keep your sense of humor in check so that you do not make any jokes that could be interpreted as offensive when people speak.
FAQ – Simultaneous Interpreter Training
What are some practical exercises for training my interpreting skills?
One thing you can do is interpret while listening to a podcast. This way, you can get used to processing information quickly and accurately. You can also try shadowing, which is when you repeat what someone is saying in real-time.
This helps improve your speed and clarity. Other than that, it is also important to get as much exposure to the language you are interpreting as possible. This can be done by reading, watching movies, and listening to music in the target language.
What are some simultaneous interpretation techniques I can use to improve my memory?
There are a few techniques you can try to help improve your memory. One is called the method of loci, which involves picturing the items you need to remember in different locations.
Another is called the pegword system, which links items to be remembered with words that rhyme with the numbers one to ten. You can also try mnemonic devices, which are phrases or acronyms that help you remember information. For example, the acronym HOMES can be used to remember the five Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior).
What are some common mistakes interpreters make?
One common mistake interpreters make is called the false friend fallacy, which occurs when an interpreter incorrectly translates a word because it looks or sounds similar to a word in the source language.
Another mistake is called the curse of knowledge, which happens when an interpreter assumes the audience knows more than they actually do. This can lead to confusion and frustration on the part of the audience. Additionally, interpreters can sometimes make mistakes due to simple things like mishearing or mistyping.
What are some ways to deal with difficult simultaneous interpreting situations?
There are a few things you can do to deal with difficult interpreting situations. First, it is important to stay calm and focused. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that you can do this. It is also helpful to break down the task into smaller pieces.
For example, if you are interpreting a speech, focus on one sentence at a time. Additionally, it is important to ask for help on site if you need it. If you are unsure about a particular word or phrase, don’t be afraid to ask the speaker or contact for clarification.
Finally, remember that mistakes are inevitable. Everyone makes them, so try not to beat yourself up if you do. Just learn from your mistakes and move on.