ITALIAN INTERPRETING: 5 STEPS (+1) I TAKE TO OFFER PROFESSIONAL SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION SERVICES
On this blog, I have already spoken at lengths about preparation and its impact on the quality of the services offered by Italian translators and interpreters, and it has probably also already emerged that there is no one right way of preparing – as for surgeons, all linguists have a different ‘scrub-in’ ritual.
This is why today I want to share my own preparation method when it comes to remote and F2F interpreting assignments.
I can only start my preparation ‘ritual’ once the job has been confirmed and the client has sent over all the information needed – which is also why it’s important to book Italian interpreters in good time, allowing them enough time to research, study and prepare for the event, meeting or online call.
Let’s break it down step-by-step:
Step 1 – Background information on the client and their brand
I like to start off with some in-depth background research on the client: this can be the company whose factory I will visit, the business whose meeting I will interpret, or the brand whose Zoom event I will facilitate in Italian. On top of gathering key information that might come up during the interpretation, with this type of research I can set a framework for my terminology preparation and I can get a feel of the identity of the client and their needs:
- What is their mission?
- What are their values?
- What is their tone of voice?
- What is their aim?
- Who are they trying to communicate with?
Step 2 – Documents and reference material
Once I have a clear idea of who I will interpret for (i.e. who I’ll be representing), I dig in into the documents I received: PPT slides, minutes from previous meeting, internal reference documents, glossaries – you name it. My preference is to highlight and note down any terminology or expression that might look interesting or that I am unfamiliar with, along with industry or brand-specific concepts.
Step 3 – Glossary and terminology building
With this information I start creating a dedicated glossary for the assignment, which I complete by widening my terminology search using specialised websites, dictionaries, and online glossaries. This is also where, if time allows it, I send back any query I may have on specific terms and concepts in order to gain client’s approval or further explanation. In order to help memory retention, I prepare flashcards with the key terminology, which I then use to study in the days before the meeting: in this way the terms that I need whilst interpreting will be fresh and ready in my mind – no word on the tip of my tongue to slow me down!
Step 4 – Get to know the speaker(s)!
It’s now time to focus on the speaker(s), especially if the assignment is a conference or a masterclass. This will help me familiarise with the speakers’ accent, speed, vocabulary and any other particular prosodic feature they display: do they speak very fast? Do they speak concisely, or do they tend to digress, without finishing sentences? Do they use clear, practical words or do they use abstract concepts?
The more you know when getting into the booth, the less you will be taken by surprise whilst interpreting, as you’ll be ready to use the best interpreting strategy for each speaker in order to maximise meaning retention and a natural delivery.
Step 5 – Practice, practice, practice
Once I feel confident with the terminology, it’s time to put all the preparation into action by practicing with speeches related to the topic of the assignment: this way I can activate all the new vocabulary I have learnt as well as dust off my interpreting skills, keeping my brain cogs in tip-top shape.
Bonus step – F2F assignments
Last but not least, I look up the venue and the best way to get there taking into consideration potential problems such as traffic, strikes and roadworks. Being late is not an option: you can be sure I will be the first to arrive and the last to leave.
Throughout this process, I am in constant contact with my booth partner, as well as colleagues from other interpreting booths if present, to share terminology, information and updates as well as to practice together before the event.
Here's a brief recap of the whole process:
Preparation is one of the key aspects of a successful interpreting assignment: topical knowledge, specialised jargon and brand-sensitivity allow interpreters to deliver a complete, accurate and natural rendition of the original message, ensuring seamless communication between you and your clients.
Get in touch today to know more about how FSL Language Solutions can help you make your next event a success – from providing Italian live translators for your Zoom webinar to sourcing and coordinating a whole team of conference interpreters, we’ve got you covered.