News from the booth – The municipal setup

I was on an
interpreting assignment yesterday afternoon, relieving a colleague who had been
working the morning shift at a conference organized by the city of N. Having
worked for them before under less-than-perfect conditions (that’ll be the topic
of another post), I was curious what the setup would be like.
When I got
there, the booth sat in nice view of the stage and screen, the technician was
literally within arm’s reach, and there was water and glasses and electricity.
Yeah, I thought happily, they did it right!
I had to
smile at the sight of the single and somewhat ancient microphone without a mute
option, but in exchange, the almost sound-proof headphones had a little volume
control slide button on the cables. On mine only the right side worked, but
that was okay, since I prefer to hear myself and would have left one ear
uncovered anyway.
The final setup
this was the setup only after my
colleague and the technician had rebelled in the morning – the original setup
had included a speaker instead of headphones, although my colleague had been
very specific about what was needed beforehand?! And the customer only agreed
to get the headphones after they explained to him that the people listening
would hear the interpretation as well as the original, and that in stereo, from
the stage and from their headsets. The fact that the interpreters would have a
hard time working under such circumstances was apparently
not convincing
In any case,
the customer came to us afterwards and expressed his extreme gratitude at our wonderful
“translation” and how thankful he was that we had been there, so
maybe next time he’ll remember to listen to the requirements of the
interpreters and do the setup right from the start…

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