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In her answer to this question, Laura mentioned English-to-English booths provided by the conference organisers:

"I remember an assignment where the client found a brilliant way of facilitating understanding even further: at an international conference, in addition to your regular booths from and into several language combinations, they arranged for an extra English<>English booth so that any participant with a relatively good understanding of English could follow the proceedings in that language in a single, hopefully neutral, accent."

Who else has experienced conferences where such such service was provided?

What was the conference participants' reaction to such a service?

Should we maybe devise a training unit for English-to-Einglish interpreters and make it more publicly known that such booths may also be offered?

asked 12 Jun '12, 19:06

AlmuteL's gravatar image


edited 13 Jun '12, 18:01

I think we used to call working from English to English (or French to French) the "cabine blanche", colleagues can tell me if I've got it right. I have not come across the arrangement often and only to provide a decent input to the other interpreters who were struggling with a difficult speaker. I have done it twice I think, once for a Japanese speaker and once for an Indian farmer. Interpreting of English to English could be provided, but I would imagine that those being interpreted might feel aggrieved, after all it is tantamount to saying that their English is poor.

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answered 13 Jun '12, 06:21

Pip's gravatar image


edited 13 Jun '12, 06:31

Thank you for your comment. What you say is of course true - one would have to find a very friendly way of explaining to the speakers and the listeners why this booth is offered - saying that unfortunately it was not possible to provide interpretations from every speaker's mother tongue etc.

(13 Jun '12, 06:33) AlmuteL

Should we maybe devise a training unit for English-to-Einglish interpreters and make it more publicly known that such booths may also be offered?

I think inasmuch as English continues to be used as a lingua franca, it would definitely be a good idea. Actually, I think I will suggest it to my clients next time I am asked to quote for a large international conference!

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answered 14 Jun '12, 21:44

Laura's gravatar image


edited 14 Jun '12, 21:44

...I was once told by someone knowledgeable in machine translation (or did I read about it?) that one (interim?) scenario for machine interpreting could be just that, ie booths staffed by humans who would no longer interpret from one language into another but would re-format speakers' input into "proper" whatever, which would then get interpreted into whatever else by a computer...

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answered 13 Jun '12, 17:54

msr's gravatar image


edited 13 Jun '12, 17:54

Interesting! I'd never heard of that before. Thanks for sharing the insight.

(14 Jun '12, 21:39) Laura
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question asked: 12 Jun '12, 19:06

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