If you enjoyed my post on the value of portable interpretation equipment, you will probably like this one, too, on a cool equipment hack.
It introduces a rather creative way to use the bidule, whenever the number of people in the audience exceeds the number of receivers available. This came about as a quick fix during a mission in Sao Tome and Principe, back a decade or so.
We were asked to interpret into Portuguese a series of presentations by the mission team. In the audience were about 40 top government officials from STP. The problem was we only had 12 receivers. And consecutive interpretation would prove tedious and hard to squeeze into the limited time slot we had.
I had to improvise, so here’s what I did:
Instead of distributing headphones and receivers to the audience, I gave those gadgets to the six officials on our team. And instead of giving speakers a standard mic, I had them talk through one of the portable interpretation transmitters.
Wearing a portable receiver as feed, I stood on stage and interpreted the presentations simultaneously into a stand-up microphone. The lusophone audience heard it all in Portuguese through the PA system. The rest of our delegation listened to the English original on a different channel on their receivers. Now, ain’t that a cool equipment hack?
Speakers were still in front of the crowd, speaking from the podium, with their message coming through the loudspeakers already in crystal-clear Portuguese.
The groundbreaking, patent-pending technique, modestly dubbed the Magellan Protocol (or MagPro for short), will certainly take the world of interpreting by storm, and word has it that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is now considering the introduction of a new Nobel Prize category that will carry twice the usual compensation.
Only I can assure you that unlike Bob I will return their calls promptly and hop on the first plane to Stockholm to grab that check!