My learning journey continues.

Note to self:  Repeat the above mantra three times each and every day.  Why?  Because this time next week I will be in Kazakhstan delivering a five-day management development programme for a client. The daily challenge is the way that the delivery will be conducted.

Many of us trainers and professional speakers have worked in a foreign country where English is not spoken as a first language and had to use translators.  This is the case for me for this next project, where I will be working with interpreters – two of them – all week long.  Whereas the term ‘simultaneous’ interpretation is often used as a generalisation, there are in fact two types of interpreter in this live context.

“During Consecutive Interpreting the trainer/presenter stops every 1-5 minutes (usually at the end of the paragraph or complete thought, and then the interpreter steps in to render what was said into the target language.  A key skill involved in consecutive interpreting is note-taking, since few people can memorise a full paragraph in one hearing without loss of meaning.

Typically, while performing Simultaneous Interpreting, the interpreter sits in a booth wearing a pair of headphones and speaks into a microphone.  Strictly speaking “simultaneous” is a misnomer: the interpreter cannot start interpreting until they understand the general meaning of the sentence.  Depending, for example, on how far apart in the sentence to be interpreted, the subject and the verb are located, the interpreter may not be able to utter even a single word until they have heard the entire sentence!

This fact should make it evident how difficult the task of the interpreter really is:  they must translate the sentence into the target language while simultaneously listening to and comprehending the next sentence.  You can appreciate the difficulty of the task even if you only speak one language: try paraphrasing someone’s speech with a half-sentence delay while making sure you understand the next sentence and paraphrasing the previous one.”

Notwithstanding this,  I now learn that I will:

  1. Present in English
  2. Two consecutive translators will take turns to explain to the participants what I have said after say one or two paragraphs
  3. The slides that I will be presenting will be in English
  4. The notes that the participants will be reading will be in Russian (and in English as well)
  5. The exercises that we do will be instructed in English and Russian and their responses will be in Russian and translated back to me in English

Mantra being repeated from now until I touch down in Kazakhstan “I am a professional trainer and I can do this”

Until next time ~ happy learning!




Józefa Fawcett

Professional Trainer, Learning Specialist Designer & Voice-Over