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WIRED Masterminds and the Challenge of Simultaneous Interpreting

On July 3, 2019, WIRED released the fifth installment of its Masterminds series on YouTube. A follow-up to the wildly popular first video on interpreting in the series released on June 24, 2019, this video focuses on speed and other challenges inherent to simultaneous interpretation in formal and informal conference settings. This second video features InterpretAmerica Co-President Barry Slaughter Olsen and conference interpreter Katty Kauffman, both member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), who are given two different challenging scenarios to interpret.

The creative team at actually sprang these scenarios on Barry and Katty the day of the shoot. Neither had time to prepare and only found out the topic of what they would be interpreting shortly before the recording. They both decided to be good sports and play along in an effort to raise awareness of the interpreting profession among the general public. The result is an entertaining and informative video about some of the biggest challenges interpreters face when working. As of the publication of this blog, both videos have been doing exceptionally well with the first video with well over 1.9 million views and the most recent video with close to 700,000 views. Please continue to spread the word about these videos.


Important note: the coping techniques employed in this video are not all applicable to interpreting in a courtroom setting, where the expectations regarding accuracy and completeness can be quite different. In this sense, court interpreting is unique. More on the standards for interpreting in the U.S. courts can be found here.

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