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What is simultaneous interpretation?

The art and science of translation to or from Thai, with examples

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What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby PatrickMoreschi » Wed May 28, 2014 11:03 am

Simultaneous interpretation is used during large or big international conferences. In this process, the interpreter interprets the details without any delay. The orator continues his speech at the same time the interpreter translates . Both this process takes place simultaneously . Hence this process is called as simultaneous interpretation .
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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby Pirin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:23 am

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Last edited by Pirin on Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby tod-daniels » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:21 am

Because of the way thai is structured being half way competent at simultaneous interpretation take a pretty darned talented person.
Few people can do a decent job at it. I've sat in on meetings where someone who alleged they were good at it was attempting to do it and they totally sucked. I've never met a foreign speaker of thai who could do it, not that they're not out there, just that I never met one.. Of the thaiz I met who do it, some are good, some not so..

If you switch the language from Thai news to english you see just how much those translators hem and haw waiting for the thai newscaster to spit out enough of the thai sentence so the translators can start speaking english.. They have to almost hear the entire conversation before they can re-order the words and spit them out in coherent english. You hear them coughing, shuffling papers, saying umm, ahh, etc while waiting. It's almost painful to watch, err I mean listen to and those translating people understand thai to a far higher degree than I do..

Far more common is the consecutive interpretation, where one person speaks, waits while it's translated into the target language then speaks again. It's the one most people "break into" the language translating arena with. It's not that hard although it is very "topic" specific and you have to have a good idea goin' into it what you're gonna be speaking about vocab wise or you're dead in the water..

While I don't know why the O/P decided to post this topic I thought I'd weigh in anyway..
"Whoever said `Money can`t buy you love or joy` obviously was not making enough money." <- quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS
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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby Pirin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:51 am

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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby Alan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:55 pm

Interpreters - both simultaneous and consecutive - are a unique breed. They're proud and should be - because they are doing something that proficiency in the language alone won't produce.

You can know a lot of words and a lot of idioms, have encyclopedic knowledge of the grammatical/usage elements of the language, but: A top interpreter, that alone does not make.

They have that something extra. Lightning fast intellectual reflexes. I read an article by an interpreter who said she was a self-admitted "adrenalin addict". In most conference situations, there are two interpreters in the booth and they trade off every 15 or 20 minutes. The sheer strain - demanding 100% focus and zero-fault processing - speaking while at the same time listening and preparing the next "batch" from "cache memory" - can't be sustained for more than that 20 minute "shift" (by most humans). After a several hour job, the interpreter is physically and mentally exhausted, but vanquished. It's a "high". It should also be noted that in the booth lots of things can go wrong. You have to hit the "cough" button if you make a noise. Sometimes you have to rescue your booth mate (or be rescued!). Pass notes. It's quite a dynamic. And even though sound engineers have set up the site for you, sometimes the source sound is faint, muffled, or even crackly - you still have to get the interpretation right. Becoming a good interpreter is like any skill. You practice and practice to hone your chops so that you can be ready for anything. Consecutive interpreting isn't necessarily "easier" or slower paced. The reason is that in a faced paced dialogue between two people you may have to break out of your traditional role as "conduit" and clarify something. The process of moving from one role to another has to follow a rigorous protocol and it has to be done on the fly.
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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby Rick Bradford » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:43 pm

It must be much harder if the source and target languages have very different sentence structures.

For example, if simultaneously translating Thai to English, how do you deal with a long Thai sentence that suddenly ends in a ไม่ได้ -- essentially negating everything that has gone beforehand?

It would seem to require not just language skills, but a capacious short-term memory as well.
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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby Pirin » Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:09 am

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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby bifftastic » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:15 am

But, bilingual or not, you have to wait until the end of the sentence before you know the meaning.

Surely that means it's not simultaneous?
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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby Pirin » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:51 am

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Re: What is simultaneous interpretation?

Postby Rick Bradford » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:58 am

^^^
It worked out well.

We took a spamming message and turned it into a productive discussion.
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