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Thread: Multiple translators at a public meeting

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    Multiple translators at a public meeting

    Our city is soon to have our first public meeting for a corridor revitalization project. We will have translators for both Spanish and Vietnamese. We've never had a meeting with multiple translators, and we're not sure about what might be best in regards to laying out the room and conducting the presentation. Does anyone have any experience with this? The venue we have is not especially spacious, so we can't separate the translators too much, though we can move them away from the main speaker. For time's sake, is it okay to have the translators translate at the same time, or will this be too confusing to listen to? Or do we place the translators at the front of the room with the main speaker? This is all new to us, so we're not really sure what to expect - any input from past experience would be appreciated.

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by inaseb View post
    Our city is soon to have our first public meeting for a corridor revitalization project. We will have translators for both Spanish and Vietnamese. We've never had a meeting with multiple translators, and we're not sure about what might be best in regards to laying out the room and conducting the presentation. Does anyone have any experience with this? The venue we have is not especially spacious, so we can't separate the translators too much, though we can move them away from the main speaker. For time's sake, is it okay to have the translators translate at the same time, or will this be too confusing to listen to? Or do we place the translators at the front of the room with the main speaker? This is all new to us, so we're not really sure what to expect - any input from past experience would be appreciated.
    I used to work for a large foundation and when we were working on some community development programs with public meetings with multiple translators we had the translators sitting somewhere that they could easily hear the presentation and gave those who wanted to use the translation services headphones to wear. The translators were able to speak into their systems quietly and those with headphones were able to follow along without the translation slowing down the overall presentation or disrupting it. I am sure this probably added to the expense of the presentation but I cannot tell you by how much. I do know however that the translation service that we used provided all of the equipment. The community members who participated in the process kept coming back to subsequent meetings so they must not have found it too cumbersome.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by inaseb View post
    Our city is soon to have our first public meeting for a corridor revitalization project. We will have translators for both Spanish and Vietnamese. We've never had a meeting with multiple translators, and we're not sure about what might be best in regards to laying out the room and conducting the presentation. Does anyone have any experience with this? The venue we have is not especially spacious, so we can't separate the translators too much, though we can move them away from the main speaker. For time's sake, is it okay to have the translators translate at the same time, or will this be too confusing to listen to? Or do we place the translators at the front of the room with the main speaker? This is all new to us, so we're not really sure what to expect - any input from past experience would be appreciated.
    Now, I swear I participated in a Vision 2020 or whatever it was at that time, and we had multiple translators, and the PSRC tried to group the languages together for the translator to be understood. This was mid-2000s. Isn't there anyone at the PSRC who remembers this and has any insight on the seating arrangements? What about your Rep in Olympia? Surely they have created a handbook on this process - they have one for everything else...
    -------
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