Mobile booths for simultaneous interpretation
This is a reminder of the main points, plus a few tips drawn from interpreters' experience.
The full requirements for mobile SI booths are given in
ISO Standard 4043:1998.
This is a reminder of the main points, plus a few tips drawn from interpreters' experience. References to relevant paragraphs in the standard are shown in parentheses after the item.
· Dimensions of mobile SI booths (4.4)
The size of mobile SI booths is naturally a compromise between the ideal working conditions desired by the interpreters and the issues of volume and weight that the supplier has to deal with in transporting them.
· Ventilation (7)
Mobile booths are generally smaller than permanent booths, therefore an adequate supply of fresh air is a main concern and can be somewhat more problematic than for built-in booths.
- Each booth should have a silent-running fan in the ceiling and air inlets and outlets.
- The fan should be big enough to ensure proper air turnover.
- The interior of the booth should not be draughty.
· Insulation/soundproofing (6)
- There should be no interference from other booths or from the conference room.
- The booths should have doors--not curtains.
· Lighting (9)
- Table lamps are essential so that interpreters can read texts or take notes when the room lights are off.
· Visibility (5)
There should be large windows in front and on the sides for visibility into the other booths and the surrounding area of the conference room.
- No vertical support in the center of the front window.
- Windows should be made of non-reflecting glass, so the interpreters can see into the conference room, not their own faces.
· Adequate work area (8)
- A table that is too large can be as inconvenient as one that is too small.
Where to place mobile booths (4)
· In the back of room looking straight at the rostrum.
· Interpreters should have a direct, unobstructed view of the rostrum and the screen.
· There should be adequate space behind the booths for interpreters to pass.
· Booths should not be located near noisy areas.
- Background noise disturbs the interpreters and also goes through the microphone into the listeners' headsets.
· People entering and leaving the room should not have to pass in front of the booths.
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