In the recorded webinar above, offered in March 2020 by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Professor Barry Olsen offers guidance to students for practicing consecutive and simultaneous interpreting remotely. We’ve posted some notes from his webinar below, along with Q&A from the session.
Consecutive Interpreting Tips
- Establish a routine now for practice groups. Meet two times per week, minimum.
- Zoom is best for practicing. Use your Middlebury account (login from middlebury.zoom.us, and use your Middlebury credentials to sign in). Skype is ok too, but we don’t have a Middlebury account.
- Set up a time with practice partners, send out an email invitation, and make it a recurring weekly event.
- Use video and audio, have live or recorded speeches.
- To play recorded material:
- Use the share screen button in Zoom. After you open the share screen window, at the bottom of the window, click on “share computer sound” for audio or video. If video, also click on “optimize screen for sharing video clip”.
- Designate someone in the group to be responsible for starting and stopping the video or audio file.
- You can record interpretations in Zoom to your computer desktop or to the cloud. Click the record button at the bottom of the Zoom desktop window to start/pause/stop recording.
- You can record each performance separately or do it as one big long clip. This shows how you sound and how you look, and is good for self-review / critique.
- You can use WeChat/WhatsApp/Slack/Microsoft Teams to upload photos of notes and compare notes. (Set up a WhatsApp or WeChat group for the class for this.)
- Practice in groups of 3: one person for notes, one person for controlling the audio/ video, one person for interpretation.
Question: Can you share a screen during breakout sessions?
Answer: Yes, as long as the meeting host has their settings set to allow participants to share their screen.
Simultaneous Interpreting Tips
GoReact is the simplest tool to use for simultaneous interpreting practice.
- Can control volume on source and interpretation separately
- Can review your own interpretation or your colleague’s
- Resides on the cloud, can do the same speech multiple times
- You must have a USB headset and microphone.
- You can review yourself and/or upload for a professor to review.
If you don’t use GoReact, there are other options out there:
- InterpretersHelp.com is an online tool for simul practice with videos you can find online. You can also sign up for a free, glossary tool. The community has a speech/video database.
- If you want to practice simul with Zoom, you can use the simultaneous interpreting feature. To do this, you have to go into your Settings to turn it on. It lets you create multiple rooms with people interpreting into different channels. You can’t record inside Zoom, but you can record yourself and share files (up to 7 or 8 at a time).
- From your Zoom settings at middlebury.zoom.us, go to In Meeting Advanced and find and turn on Language Interpretation.
- Important: You have to generate a different meeting ID for each of these sessions, you cannot use your “zoom room” ID.
Question: Can you upload assignments as a student?
Answer: Yes, it’s a “stimulus” that has “open peer review” so others can see. (Stimulus media is the source material.)
Question: Can we set up our own ZipDX sessions? Or do we need administrator privileges?
Answer: We have purchased a good number of licenses, and can assign some to student organizers.
- If you want to do this, email Professor Olsen to ask for “organizer” privileges, and go through a training. This can’t be given to all, but to some key students in each language, if you want to do this.
Question: Do professors have to be the ones to create a GoReact course, or can students do it too?
Answer: Yes, must have prof privs to create GoReact course. Best to run through professors. (Or maybe we can ask a WS with excess time to create a student practice space course if you don’t have profs in your programs with licenses?).