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=====Selection, Preparation and Quality of Interpreters=====

===Minutes and Conclusions of the team===

===1. Revise and upgrade the Babels registration website in order to facilitate a more effective selection process based on IT “processable” criteria :===

~-More effective selection criteria
~-Revised definition of “levels” (pro, experienced, occasional, beginner…)
~-Take into account not only language and interpretation skills but also militant motivation

===2. Identify and segment sources of volunteer candidates :===

~-Same area as event : schools, universities, militants, ethnic groups (1)
~-Far away areas : the issue here is to avoid financing a trip for someone who will not prove to be qualified for simultaneous interpretation

a)if there is a country or area coordinator, he/she has the responsibility for “qualifying” the candidate for an event
a)otherwise there needs to be an e-mail contact to check motivation and target language ; followed by a phone interview (or a meeting with a coordinator who happens to be travelling in the area)

===3. Upgrade the selection process (mainly for “locals” since the above point deals with faraways) :===

The team in Brussels didn’t really take a stand on the need to separate or not selection from “situational preparation” (the word training is taboo, but not for all team members). In other words, should there be a two stage process where a volunteer is first “tested “ on a go/nogo basis and then, if its go, exposed to Sit-Prep ? My personal recommendation (Guillaume), is that at this stage, we should go ahead with the Sit-Prep process in London, invite volunteers, and find out who can make it or not. My own experience from ESF 2003 is that in most cases, volunteers are quite capable of doing a self assessment of their skills once exposed to simultaneous interpretation requirements. The disadvantage of this approach is that we will need to invite all volunteers to the Sit-Prep, thus making the numbers greater for the sit-prep sessions.

As we develop experience, we can think of a more structured procedure to streamline the flow of volunteers and include in the sit prep sessions only those whom we believe are potentially qualified as an outcome of a prior assessment.

The team stressed the importance of not risking that a negative outcome of the selection procedure be considered by the volunteer as a personal failure. We must explain that we owe it to our Forum (or other event) partners to provide quality interpretation ; we must also encourage each volunteer to work in other than interpretation activities in a given event. Other activities will also use their language skills.

===4. Situational Preparation :===

~-Simulation of booth activities is a major requirement ; these will focus both on developing the practice of simultaneous interpretation and understanding the technical requirements of a real (or virtual) booth
~-Simultaneous interpretation will be practiced using recorded audio or video transcripts of former Forums (ESF, WSF).
~-Technical capacity will be developed by learning to use the Nomad system
~-The plan for the London ESF Sit-Prep project is to include in the Nomad bootable CD the transcripts mentioned above. Volunteers will listen to the transcripts, their simultaneous interpretation will be recorded ; it will also be monitored by the coordinator in charge ; it will finally be played back to himself/herself so as to check the strengths and weaknesses. The coordinator will expose the volunteer to increasing degrees of language complexity and source language accent difficulty.
~-Back home self preparation : the project should allow the volunteer to download the CD on his/her computer and practice at home.

===5. Organization of Booths (real or virtual)===

~-The event room coordinator of the interpreter team should plan to peer beginners with pros focused on their coaching responsibility
~-A team of interpretation “firefighters” should be available to substitute for interpreters victims of a sudden weakness
~-The team coordinator should make sure that glossaries of the session terminology are available to interpreters before the session begins.

===6. Image of Babels===

The malfunctioning and mishaps of recent forums as concerns interpretation has created negative perceptions along with positive vibes. The team believes that it is very important that the above points be implemented.

A project group was setup to work on point 1 above, revision and upgrading of the website registration procedure. The group is made of Guillaume, Helga, Ian, Jesus, Naima, Rita, Robert, Veronica. The group has committed to making a proposal by July 31st.

(1) The term “ethnic groups” deserves some explanation : as an example, Hiroshi and the Brazilian coordination will look for Japanese speaking volunteers in the Sao Paulo area where it is known that a very important Japanese-Brazilian ethnic group lives.
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