these two diplomats are about to begin a negotiation this one is from an unspecified spanish-speaking country hola and this one is from an unspecified english-speaking country hello and these are real interpreters and I’m Barry slaughter Olsen a conference interpreter with 25 years of experience interpreting for diplomats and world leaders at places like the UN when you think of interpreters scenes like these are probably the first that come to mind people in soundproof booths interpreting in real-time to government officials below but interpreters often have to do their jobs in private closed-door meetings this is called bilateral interpreting and as anyone who heard about the Trump Putin meetings knows it’s a very real situation when certain meetings just have a limited number of people in a room and those people are sworn to secrecy this is a demonstration of what can typically happen in these meetings behind closed doors going someone’s actually things began before anyone even arrived most of the time terms are agreed upon in advance of the meeting the agendas are carefully negotiated and outline they can range from arms reduction to economic cooperation to water rights all we need is a plausible topic to get started let’s say dolphin-safe tuna fishing to start our interpreters position themselves you’d think they’d be in the middle somewhere because they’ve got a here will right well for meetings in front of the press they don’t want to be the center of attention or appear in press photos see how they’re on the sidelines here that’s so they can easily be cropped out of the pictures to be published later which doesn’t always work out so before this meeting begins there are things that need to be decided will recordings be permitted is a record being kept who’s going to attend but this is a closed-door bilateral meeting so it’ll just be these four now there are two styles of interpretation simultaneous and consecutive consecutive is the most common style of interpreting in diplomatic situations here’s an example it’s been awhile since I’ve been here I’m so excited to be back thank you for having me and then again Pokeno venía SEK moti Samaras oppressive in Manoa meant a the interpreter waits until the speaker pauses time on weird I see a poetical award I don’t know I mean no suffice and then interprets we’re very happy to be able to collaborate again with the government of your country simple right but what happens if the speaker goes on and on without pausing hey come on we’re die seals their political award contest interpreters rarely translate word for word instead we remember specific ideas and translate those ideas accordingly but when the speaker goes on and on for a long time interpreters rely on note-taking we want to authorize the use of the dolphin friendly label by your country’s tuna processors these symbols represent the speaker’s ideas but each interpreter has their own style watch as three different interpreters take notes on the same sentence we want to authorize the use of the dolphin friendly label by your country’s tuna processors but we must have a reliable way to verify the use of authorized equipment and fishing practices interpreters usually come up with the symbols beforehand and as you can see here on Caddy’s cheat sheets she carefully thought about what will be most useful for this particular meaning the DFL stands for dolphin friendly label that tu in a box refers to tuna that’s being caught you get the idea now let’s watch as caddy interprets her own notes into Spanish GMOs dr. Lesage ellos son and a lady kita the dolphin friendly para lo processor horas de pekka de soup is pero necesitamos para verificar kitten odorless and o aqui pose it technically pekka koalas now let’s switch to simultaneous interpretation simultaneous interpretation is usually used with earpieces and microphones and with interpreters working from a soundproof booth but we won’t have equipment in this demonstration when we’re right next to another person like in this scenario we can employ what we call shushil – which means whispering in French this usually is an ideal whispering for a long time is bad for the vocal cords it can also be hard to hear due to ambient noise in the room like ventilation now let’s talk about pacing in simultaneous interpretation you try to maintain an optimal distance from the original speaker this is referred to as Nicholas or ear voice spam we’ll call it Evi so when one diplomat starts speaking the person employing shushil Taaj would probably start here understand perfectly references in the conceived inif the speaker is speaking at 100 to 110 words per minute which research tells us is the optimal speed for interpreting the interpreter still has to figure out the optimal eds here’s the problem the further back in the diplomat speech the interpreter is consuming orestes y es y por ESO también queremos references the more the interpreter has to keep in their short-term memory their listening and processing as they’re interpreting it’s a lot is high quality dolphin dolphin but get too close to the original speakers words and they may screw up things like grammar syntax and style and of course interpreters are prone to fatigue and burnout fatigue will hit at around 30 minutes of straight interpreting this is why simultaneous interpreters often switch out in intervals of 30 minutes or less if pushed to our limits interpreters can really suffer you may recall the 2009 incident in which more Marga da fees interpreter collapsed at the UN after simultaneously interpreting for over 75 minutes so what happens if the conversation turns emotional or the speaker becomes rude well my friend I’ve listened to what you have to say and the only conclusion I can come up with is that you’re a damn fool interpreters are not meant to be mediators our only job is to stay true to the message of the speaker if someone becomes rude or angry if threats are made then we’re supposed to interpret those threats faithfully so in this situation interpreter would not say no conclusion a la cual puedo llegar es que attention puckateeto imprudent a and here is an example of a faithful interpretation young Christian aleck well well you got a key okay that is perfect idiota although a speaker may become emotional and just stick you late the interpreter is not going to parrot the behavior of the speaker this is not the way the people my boy has said to me given to get moja migos how could you do this to me I thought we were friends this is more realistic robo-moe me voy a hacer esto me your pencil Karamoja migos how could you do this to me I thought we were friends so the situation has gotten quite intense maybe a joke would be helpful to lighten the mood but jokes are some of the most difficult things to interpret because they can get lost in translation easily what it one dolphin say to the other after splashing him you did that on purpose never mind that this joke barely makes sense in English in Spanish it completely doesn’t work because porpoise is Maricopa and purpose is propósito al otro tipo del piccolo oh that is so Louise in similar sopa untranslatable pun Nintendo attempts at humor are often lost and there’s not much an interpreter can do there’s an anecdote about an interpreter who when faced with an untranslatable joke simply said colleague acabo a contouring chief take a result the totalement intro simplistically a support for of course what we’ve seen today is a tiny excerpt of what are often longer and arduous negotiations and that concludes our bilateral meeting behind closed doors this job is tough to juggle the many things that we have to do to be able to interpret well and accurately but this job is important because it’s what makes communication possible between countries and between peoples I’ve been at it for 25 years and I wouldn’t trade it for the world very will interpret a financial speech we have seen that the GDP of Latin America and the Caribbean has increased and then Cathy will interpret a text message exchange between two friends I mean if you’re seen killing Eve I mean it’s not that realistic but I love it are you kidding I’ve never seen it [Music]

Tagged : # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Dennis Veasley

35 thoughts on “Interpreter Breaks Down How Real-Time Translation Works | WIRED”

  1. The English speaker was the only person at a disadvantage, everyone in that room understood Spanish and what truly being communicated in Spanish outside of what is lost in translation.

  2. I’ve always wanted to be a translator but oddly, life has led me to the healthcare line. Most days I still wonder how everything would’ve turned out if I pushed through. I guess some dreams will remain as dreams. Really enjoyed this one! Thank you.

  3. I've had a translator in school to help me. Now I know how to speak it, I realized the translations he said were off-topic…..

  4. Interpreter who wants to see the world burn … Politician "we welcome a peaceful outcome " , Interpreter " we will start nuking in 5 minutes "

  5. I love translating dialogue simultaneously for fun but since I'm not an actual interpreter (just a bilingual person), I end up using "comparable" (?) slang and a lot of slurs. XD

  6. "Please laugh [now]" can be taken incorrectly in Spanish. It can sound kind of rude hehe😅 but it's understandable in these meetings and taking tone and body language into consideration, I'm sure it's fine heh😋

  7. Dear everyone here: translation is on paper, interpreting is live. Language only works if we all use it the same way. Love an interpreter and interpreter educator.

  8. OUR LEADERS ARE DUMM lol stop the brianwash please

    System of lies and shadows…

    Only great people insist on loving their fellow man through the desire to know him.

  9. Hello! this is my first time watching your videos and I never though of a youtube channel that talks about what I am doing for a living right now. Love this video and I will keep watching you guys.
    By the way, I do japanese, english and spanish interpretation, simulaneous or consecutive depending on the case.
    One day I hope to get involve in diplomatic affairs too but mean while I will keep up learning.
    I would appreciate any advise you guys can give me.

  10. I didn't know translating was so difficult. I thought it was just changing the language of what you heard. I now have huge respect to these people, especially those who use sign language.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *