Simultaneous translation: minimum quality standard

Currently, for obvious reasons, there is a serious demand for the services of Chinese translators. Since not all customers speak Chinese sufficiently to assess the level and quality of work, as a result, a situation arises in which the services of people who do not have even minimally sufficient qualifications are offered and sold, which is especially evident in simultaneous translation. And as a result, the customer and the organizers of the event are the victims.

Of course, the question arises: how can a person who does not speak Chinese evaluate the quality of translation? It's very simple – you are being transferred as well as you. Therefore, paying attention to several points when translating into Russian, you will be able to assess the quality of the simultaneous interpreter's work, even without knowing Chinese:

1. It's unpleasant to listen. If you are uncomfortable with what you hear in your headphones, and you want to take them off, then the Chinese audience during your performance will only think about how it ends as soon as possible.

Listener discomfort may occur for the following reasons:

✔ The translator's voice is too tense and high. Such a translator does not have the skills of voice-to-speech work and, therefore, after a couple of hours of work, he will begin to experience painful sensations during articulation, which will lead to the effect of a "dying swan", and your discomfort from translation will increase even more.

✔ Excessively high speech speed. Most likely, this is not simultaneous translation, but reading a pre-prepared text. Needless to say, with this approach, the speech of the speaker loses its meaning, because this is the same as giving you the text of the report in writing through a secretary or assistant. At the same time, it is extremely difficult for the translator to react to the speaker's deviations from the text, and there is no question of transmitting accents, emotions, and other non-verbal information at all.

✔ A large number of all sorts of unnecessary sound effects (ekaniy, mekany, bleating, etc.). This suggests that the translator understands the speaker from the fifth to the tenth and tries to make some of his own digestible text "based on" the report. It is clear that all the most subtle and important points will be lost.

✔ Excessively prolonged pauses or excessively large number of pauses. Most likely, this means that the translator's "personal filter" is enabled. In other words, he does not translate what the speaker says, but only the part of what was said that he heard, comprehended and verified. Since the translator's degree of mastery of the subject of the report is usually lower than that of the speaker, the translation at the same time loses a lot in the semantic content and logic of the presentation.

2. The sound row does not correspond to the visual image of the speaker. Pay attention to the appearance, clothes and manners of the speaker, evaluate his level of education and life experience and imagine what language such a person most likely speaks. It is obvious that the tractor driver from the agricultural holding "Light Path" will express his thoughts in other words and in a different form than the CEO of HUAWEI, and the latter's speech will differ significantly from the speech of the professor of fine literature of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

✔ Try to correlate your impression with what you hear in the headphones, paying attention to the vocabulary and the construction of phrases – as far as it corresponds to your first impression of the speaker.

✔ Pay attention to the placement of intonation accents by the speaker – the intonation pattern of the translation should repeat them at least partially.

✔ Follow the reaction of the audience – when the speaker is joking, the Chinese and Russian part of the audience should laugh at the same time.

✔ Pay attention to the vocabulary used when translating the speeches of various speakers – it should not contain an excessive number of identical words and ways of expression.

3. Blurred personality of the speaker. At the end of the performance, analyze your feelings. If none of the phrases spoken by the speaker were remembered by you, if you did not awaken interest in continuing communication with the speaker, but only a feeling of pointlessly wasted time and a desire to forget this speech as a terrible dream – you were badly translated.


Friends! We need your help to become better, to translate you and your partners as efficiently as possible, preserving not only the meaning of what was said, but also the emotions and individual personality characteristics of the speaker. Please evaluate the quality of the translation without discounts on the complexity of the language and tell us or the organizer of the event about what you did not like. Only if there are your critical comments will we have an additional incentive to improve and provide you with better services. We need your harsh and objective criticism.

And finally, a request to the Russian speakers. Friends! Do not limit yourself in self–expression in front of a microphone - read poetry, pun, quote famous writers, poets and philosophers. This will undoubtedly complicate our work, and it may not work out right away, but we will definitely learn. After all, the main goal of our joint work with you is to convey to the listener your emotions, your personality, its originality and uniqueness, to arouse interest and sympathy for you, and therefore for your project, thereby creating the best conditions for starting and strengthening cooperation with Chinese partners.

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