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Insights from the audience: The relevance of interpreters at international events

An interview with José Miguel Gallart, Sales Manager Spain at Sattler Sun-Tex GmbH

It is a rainy autumn morning in the historical city of Vienna. I enter the conference hall of an impressive five stars hotel. The room is still empty; I see the booths for the interpreters at the back of the hall. Some of my colleagues are already there and we all start getting ready for this special event.

Customers from all over the world will be attending this event; important key speakers will be holding breath-taking speeches. Among them, a renowned colour psychologist, who will speak about new trends and the influence of regional colour preferences, a famous orchestra conductor will point out the similitudes between an orchestra and a company, and of course the managing director of the company itself.

People start entering the room and I see the Spanish delegation walking past my booth with the headsets around their neck. They sit down, look around. The Spanish sales director waves his hand at me, I wave back.

The Managing director climbs up the podium and here is where my job starts. I plunge into the speech and after a warm welcome the colour psychologist transfers the audience to the world of colours, finally the orchestra director starts his gripping and highly emotional speech. While I listen to his speech and transfer it into Spanish I can almost hear the instruments playing which he is talking about. I do my best to become invisible and to infuse the same emotion into my words as the conductor to his speech. Each word has meticulously been chosen. I enjoy my work – a simple word can change so much and turn the meaning of the speech. Accuracy is a must. I see the Spanish customers smiling, laughing, showing emotions. I feel good, confident for having achieved my goal: customer’s satisfaction and awakening the feeling that I am not there, that they listened to the speech of all these prominent personalities.

Now, a few months later, I have the chance to interview Mr. Gallart to gain more insights and get to know what the work of an interpreter means to the communication with the customers.

Mr. Gallart, Sattler Sun-Tex organises huge events for their customers every time a new collection is introduced. How important is it for you that your key customers can listen to all these great speeches in their native language?

It is essential. Only this way we can ensure that they understand the information and most important that they can put it into practice.

What worked well in the interpretation of these speeches?

Everything was super-correct and my customers congratulated Mrs. Herrera for her work and us for having chosen her for this job.

Were your customers satisfied?

Yes, especially because they did not miss any detail. For us as a company this is also very important since it makes it possible for us to underline our advantages compared to what other manufacturers offer.

Did they mention how they experienced the simultaneous interpretation?

My customers always ask me to hire Ms. Herrera as an interpreter, because there is a huge difference between her work and the work of other interpreters we have had before.

How important is the quality of the simultaneous interpretation for you?

It is the most important point. Otherwise you will only get a vague notion of what has been presented. It is also imperative that the interpreter is familiar with the topic and Ms. Herrera knows what she is talking about.

Moreover, Mrs. Pons and I would like to lay emphasis on the simultaneous interpretation of the speech held by Mr. Christian Gansch, a renowned orchestra conductor. It was without doubt a complex topic, he compared an orchestra with a company and all the emotions the orchestra conductor puts into his speech were perfectly transmitted in the simultaneous interpretation and the words we heard made us vibrate. Congratulations!

Thank you very much for your time and your words.

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