Comme chaque année, à la date du 20 mars, la Journée internationale de la Francophonie est célébrée dans le monde entier, dans les pays francophones mais aussi dans ceux où la langue française est moins répandue. Cette date fait référence à la naissance, le 20 mars 1970 à Niamey (Niger), de l’Agence de coopération culturelle et technique, qui allait devenir l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
Interpreters are performing all at once four separate tasks while the ordinary listener generally is doing just one. That is why an interpreter may find the sound poor when ordinary participants find it satisfactory. Why is this? Please click the gold button to see the explanation in my most successful video. I'm posting it again because good sound, and the injuries to interpreters due to bad sound (no RSI platform has ISO compliant sound), are such serious matters today.
"They wanted a translator who was a woman, young, activist, and preferably Black... So to translate Homer better to be from VII b.c. Greece," commented Victor Obiols, translator of Homer and Shakespeare into Catalan, when turned away as translator for Amanda Gorman's stellar poem made famous at the Biden inauguration. It reminds me of when I was told no for a French<>English job because they'd found a "native speaker." Could that person interpret? Who knows?
Please DO NOT USE: Microphones built into a PC, wireless headsets connected to the computer via Bluetooth, phone earbuds (even if wired) or standard VICO room equipment with array microphones. None of these perform adequately for remote interpreting. They do not cover the frequency range of 125 Hz to 15000 Hz that simultaneous interpreters need to listen and speak at the same time; see ISO/PAS standard 24019.
She taught me a lot. But she was arbitrary and supremely subjective in rather a reckless way. She didn't realize that I read all she wrote and listened with thirst and fascination to all she said. I did so to learn, which has served me superbly. However, nothing can replace kindness, and fairness.
Click the ESIT image to the right to take survey. Instructions are: "Roughly a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, this survey aims at gathering information about how conference interpreters work in remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI). If you also work as a community or court interpreter and if you are a sign language interpreter, please only take your conference interpreting experience into account when completing the survey. 𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲, 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝟵𝘁𝗵."
Conference interpreters need to keep an open but also critical mind. Here Lourdes de Rioja offers another of her excellent interviews. This one with Barry Olsen of Kudo.
For now, the huge problem with all platforms without exception, from what I understand, is poor sound. This will remain an impediment until they make the necessary investments to secure ISO sound.
I believe remote meetings generally, and remote interpreting in particular, are going to continue and grow. Remote may be a factor for growth and more work for interpreters, it seems to me. A local NGO in a small town in Ohio might now think of using interpreting whereas before it was impossible to fly in an entire team, etc. We all know the argument.
The big issue, in my view, remains quality. If too many companies and other organizations try interpreting and conclude that it doesn't work, the market will not grow. If poor sound or poor interpreters undermine quality, the market will stagnate. On the other hand, if platforms are sincerely ready to work to ensure that interpreting can be done in good conditions, with good ISO sound and authentic, professional conference interpreters, that's a good thing. If I am not mistaken, NO platform, as I've stated many times, has ISO compliant sound. This has been a huge factor in interpreter health and the quality of interpretation.
I have no opinion to share here about any particular platform. But I think professional conference interpreters need to collaborate with platforms to make sure they genuinely work towards the quality sound and other conditions that will ensure the quality and credibility of conference interpreting.
Check out the article for more on these findings: - "20 to 25 percent of the workforces in advanced economies could work from home between three and five days a week" - 278 executives surveyed plan to reduce office space by 30% on average. - 20% of business travel, the most lucrative, may not return. - Germany: Less cognitive skills, more "social and emotional" skills. - USA: No college degree? 1.3 times more likely to transition to new job. Each brick below is a percentage expected increase (blue) or decrease (black) in an industry.
Stanford is right down the road from me. I used to go to the Palo Alto campus frequently for interpreting gigs. Nowadays I go as part of my participation in a Covid-19 study.
Today I'd like to convey to you a Stanford study highlighting four causes of "Zoom fatigue." They are not surprising: (1) Not moving around and (2) having a weird view of people are the usual things mentioned. What intrigued me more are the two others: (1) looking at oneself, as if in a mirror, can sap self-confidence. Who knew? And then cognitive load, which for interpreters is vastly greater even than for other participants. I explain the reasons for that in the YouTube video to the right. Or click the "learn more" button for an article on the Stanford study.