First-time posters: please review the site's moderation policy

Hi, everyone:

For me as a beginner, maybe it is too early/bold to ask such a question. But I think it is never bad for one to have a model to learn from/a target to pursue, whether achievable or not, in mind than none. This torch/ light will lighten the path.

Dear seniors, I have the following questions:

  1. What's the most fluent/ skilled simultaneous interpreting you ever witnessed/ heard?
  2. What's your targeted level ever or for now?
  3. What are the different stages/ levels during the growth of a simultaneous interpreter (or for consecutive interpreter) if there is any?

Thanks in advance.

asked 18 Aug '12, 20:31

Paris%20Si%20de%20Chine's gravatar image

Paris Si de ...

edited 04 Jul '13, 12:56

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

Thanks to, I have this opportunity to propose this question. With it in mind, I searched over the internet, and found an excellent simultaneous interpreting done by Mr Dawrant for President Bush's visit to Tsinghua University. The interpreting is fluent, authentic. For anyone interested, you may view here, FYI, source language: English; target: Chinese.

(19 Aug '12, 03:11) Paris Si de ...

...hmmm, that's not an easy one to answer ;-)...

1) I do have a few such instances in mind, but naming names, languages, venues, topics or principals would not serve any purpose, methinks (and furthermore this is a public forum, so any such particulars should normally be withheld) one had to be there to fully appreciate it, also because no recordings were made

2) one's targeted level should always be the best one can achieve... and the best one can achieve should ideally be a moving target, should it not?

3) stages/levels... my only (hopefully) useful contribution would be that when starting out one naturally first focuses on message content and only then on message form, as one's confidence grows and spare processing capacity accrues - but form should never be such, ie so bad, that it obscures content

permanent link

answered 19 Aug '12, 08:59

msr's gravatar image


Hi, MSR. Thanks for your engaging in such a difficult question; I've got to know things essential as each time your answer tells. One should try all out along this career path. 1) The interpreting evaluation involves a lot of factors; even if one performs so well to be appreciated; the performance is different from artist's ones. It is not that flashy, but requires no less efforts & devotion in exercises.

2) Yes, potential is limitless. If possible, one should just move on without hesitation. 3) Point understood. First content, second form. :)

Thanks for your attention again. :-) Best regards Paris

(19 Aug '12, 20:24) Paris Si de ...

Dear colleague,

Just as there are different schools of translating, people will have different opinions on what is truly an exceptional interpretation. Many interpreters are really good public speakers - which will become particularly noticable when interpreting in consecutive mode. But there might be people questioning whether it is a good idea to outshine the original speaker - even if you can - or to what degree it might still be acceptable. So what is a good interpreter?

I think we all should form our own opinion on whose style we would like to adopt or who should be our role model. This has indeed helped me a lot - and I ended up being able to ask the very colleague I so admired many questions on how he became such a good interpreter, who supported him, what helped him etc. He ended up sponsoring my AIIC-membership.

I also learned to listen with awe to many other accomplished interpreters and to note in my own mind what it is that fascinates me about their style of interpreting. By the same token I also notice what I do not like and try to avoid copying bad habits.

permanent link

answered 30 Aug '12, 19:22

AlmuteL's gravatar image


edited 31 Aug '12, 05:13

Hi, Almutel:

Thank you for joining me in this question; this really is a very good point and good guidance. Thanks again. :-)

(31 Aug '12, 05:07) Paris Si de ...

I just came across some lines about an perfect consecutive interpreting, although somehow away from the subject, yet I still wish to share with everyone,

"Have you ever heard of the Kaminker brothers? The name might conjure images of a local family-run business that's just down the street from you, but in fact, Georges and André Kaminker were once veritable "stars" of the consecutive interpreting scene.

According to reports from colleagues, Georges Kaminker, known for his photographic memory, could interpret a one-and-a-half-hour speech - in consecutive mode - without taking notes! Yes, you read that correctly - without taking notes! To most of us mere mortals, this seems like an impossible feat. I remember the first time I was able to interpret an entire 16-digit credit card number back without writing it down. I felt quite pleased with my accomplishment up until I read about Mr. Kaminker!

Consecutive interpreting prodigy André Kaminker (far right) at a seminar on France's recovery, July 1949. Source: You can read more about the Kaminkers in a book that is partially available for free online via Google Books, Interpreters at the United Nations: A History, by Jesús Baigorri Jalón. One of my favorite lines about the Kaminkers is available in another book you can view in Google Books, called Satow's Diplomatic Practice. In the footnote on Page 343, it states the following:

"[...] Kaminker reproduced every significant phrase, every telling pause, every emotional tone and even every dramatic gesture, and, having used no notes at all, sat down amid a thunder of applause."

Not many interpreters know what it's like to have their delivery greeted by a roomful of applause. Just imagine how incredible it must have been to witness such a highly skilled interpreter at work."

This is from interpreter's launch pad
Given to my insufficient knowledge, I will leave this for seniors to comment/ appreciate. Thanks.

permanent link

answered 23 Aug '12, 23:09

Paris%20Si%20de%20Chine's gravatar image

Paris Si de ...

edited 23 Aug '12, 23:10

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 18 Aug '12, 20:31

question was seen: 6,981 times

last updated: 31 Aug '12, 05:13 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

about | faq | terms of use | privacy policy | content policy | disclaimer | contact us

This collaborative website is sponsored and hosted by AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters.