Should Your Russian Conference Interpreters Use the Consecutive or Simultaneous Translation Mode?

Russian Conference InterpretersShould Your Russian Conference Interpreters Use the Consecutive or Simultaneous Translation Mode?

Whether you need a Russian interpreter for a political conference, press conference or a business conference, it is crucial that you hire the best interpreter services available to make sure that there are no misunderstandings or miscommunications between you and your Russian-speaking interlocutors. This will help you achieve your your goals. It means knowing your speaker as well as making a choice as to which type of service is best for you: Russian simultaneous interpreting or consecutive interpreting.

The US government designates Russian as a “hard target” language, because it plays a critical role in American World Policy. It is also considered to be one of the top three languages in the world. As it is such a widespread language, there are also many variants of it and some situations are more sensitive than others and more suited to one mode of interpreting versus another. This requires you to think about the background of the Russian speakers, the roots of his or her specific Russian language, and what kind of interpreting will serve your conference or event the best.

Comparing Russian Simultaneous Interpreting Services to Consecutive Interpreting Services

At Capital Linguists, we offer to two main types of in-person Russian interpreter services, 1) simultaneous interpreting, wherein the interpreters, speakers, and listeners use headphones and microphones to conduct instantaneous oral translation and 2) consecutive interpreting, in which the speaker pauses to allow his or her words to be spoken in another language by the interpreter. Both modes of Russian interpreting have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the context of your Russian translation requirements.

In general, Russian simultaneous interpreting is best for situations with a time limit, like a televised press conference, or where the use of humor or colloquialisms might be in place that affect the speech’s delivery and meaning. This is because simultaneous translation is more about capturing the geist or energy in the room and the character of the speaker. Simultaneous interpreting is also very useful in situations where there is a Q and A session afterwards, as it is better for capturing spontaneity.

Russian consecutive interpretations are best for more formal speakers, or in situations where the speaker’s dialect is less commonly understood, or where there is a need for transcription, because no technology is available. Consecutive interpretations might also be better suited to events where that have a ticker of the translation occurring in a crawling script beneath the image of the person speaking.

Regardless of which mode of Russian interpreting you choose, it is important to know the context of your conference and the dialect of your speakers so that the translation company can select the best possible translators. In general, the more Westernized your speaker is, the more comfortable he or she will be with simultaneous translation. However, in any case, it is most important for you to hire an absolute expert Russian translator, since interpreting the language is becoming more complex every day with shifting cultural and political boundaries. Below is a look at some of the complexities that can affect any situation that requires Russian conference interpreters.

The Liberalization of Russia Has Also Liberalized Russian Speech

It’s called the art of translation, because interpreting in any language pair really is not so rudimentary as hiring an office temp to transcribe a speech. Russian is an East Slavic language with many dialects and it is the largest native language in Europe with 144 million speakers in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Every consonant that is pronounced also has a hard and a soft sound that produces an inflection, which can affect the meaning of the word. Yet another pronounced feature of the language is that, unlike English, vowels are not stressed when they are spoken, making it more difficult to tell when a Russian speaker is being ironic or serious. Russian speakers also exaggerate their accents to make a point, which may sound like anger, when really it is just a conditioned way of stressing what is being said or an attempt at humor.

To make things even more complex, many of the features described above are becoming muted by the adoption of English inflections, vowel pronunciation and words into the Russian language, along with the adoption of German, Polish, French, Turkish, Dutch and even Hebrew influences. Depending on where your colleague or dignitary is from, he or she may be speaking one of three main forms of the language as well, the original, more formal Great Russia language- Belarusian, which is also known as White Russian and Little Russian, which is also known as Ukrainian. Consulting with a Russian translation expert here at Capital Linguists can help you determine which root Russian language your guest is speaking in.

Hiring the best Russian interpreter possible for your conference can mean the difference between a business coup and a social media disaster. Since the liberalization of trade with Russia’s post-communist economy 25 years ago, many political sensitivities still surround the 2013 conflict between Ukraine and Russia, making it crucial to be as diplomatic and polite as possible during speeches. In many cases, there is also a new more light-hearted exchange happening in discourses between Americans and Russians, partly due to the new camaraderie that has been established between the two country’s leaders in 2017, which requires deft conference interpreters that have a sense of delivery, a sensitivity to the root of the speaker’s language, as well as gentile and appropriate reactivity to anything that is said.

As liberalization of trade and speech go hand in hand, the key to doing better business and having better relationships with your Russian colleagues is to hire a translation company that can handle all aspects of preparing for and documenting the conference. This can include the Russian translation of documents and video or audio recordings of the event. Homogenizing this process into one package is highly recommended so that what people are reading in their briefs is the same thing that they are hearing onstage.

As conversations become less formal, you will find opinion, humor and conjecture becoming part of the exchange. This is why it is so important to get the best interpreter services available because now, every nuance, inflection, and pause for effect matters more than ever. Even the most elementary of misunderstandings can be blown all out of proportion by employees, dignitaries, investors, and the press, as well as meme-makers and tweeters. When it comes to making every word count in a conversation, it is best to hire truly experienced experts, who have spent well more than the 1,100 or so hours of study it can take to be a master of a foreign language and who can integrate both Russian translation and Russian interpretation both on paper and in real time.

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Philip Rosen

Philip Rosen

Capital Linguists’ certified translation service and interpreters service was founded on Philip’s vision of a super-elite translation and interpreting force. Drawing on other high level interpreters and translators, he leads an exclusive cadre of highly skilled, professional language specialists.

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