Here is how the work place of a remote simultaneous interpreter looks like 🙂
A while ago I have discovered RSI (remote simultaneous interpreting). It is a new technology for remote simultaneous interpreting: the interpreter is located at home (or in a studio) and is interpreting remotely the event taking place hundreds kilometers away from him or her using an online platform. What is required to do this? First and foremost, the PC with stable high-speed internet connection and, even better, two of them – 1st for interpreting and 2nd for opening support materials, presentations, dictionaries, etc. Secondly, a professional microphone and headphones are necessary: I have Blue Yeti Nano and Sennheiser earbuds. I am fully satisfied with the microphone: it is possible to adjust the gain using the knob and plug the headphones directly into it (for the purpose of fine tuning and work). As for the headset I have not yet decided what is more comfortable for me – to have full-fledged headphones or earbuds, I will try different models to see which suits me best. As for the RSI platform – I worked on Interprefy – it is quite easy to use though there are hidden challenges here. The most complicated thing in my opinion is the handover process: it is very different from what interpreters working in interpreting booths are used to. Moreover, the interpreters do not see each other, work in different locations and the only means of communication is the platform chat or any other messenger. And if the platform loses sight of your partner, you are completely at a loss – you cannot know if the partner switched on his mic and is ready to work and how to inform him that it is time to step in. Of course, there is a chat but it is quite challenging to type anything in the process of interpreting (at least I am not used to it). Quite often there are problems with the sound, the visibility through the web-cam is much worse compared to working on site and there is an opportunity to see only 1 picture: either of the speaker or of the slides (the latter not always). Therefore, it often happens that you have to work without any visual support. However, I have to give credit to the translation companies providing RSI services: they pay great attention to providing the complete package of materials. So if you cannot see the presentation through the web-cam you can simply open it on your PC/laptop. And the majority of problems occuring during the process are managed by the moderator and technical staff on site. I believe that there is only one situation when the support team is powerless – power blackout. However, as you can imagine, it happens very rarely, especially in Moscow, and if it does, the power is timely restored. In case it happens there is a plan B: you can work using the mobile internet on the laptop running on the battery or via specialized mobile application on the smartphone. Though I thankfully have not yet had the need to use it. In any case, it is a very interesting and useful experience: the technologies are moving forward and you have to move with them!