again, made comments in bold blue. grazie.
made comments in bold red. Sorry about the choice of colour. Maria.
new comment signed with ***
(rod:...) new additions markes in brackets and rod:

Last edited by RodrigoGines
Thu, 15 May 2008 19:35 CEST [diff]

Draft Proposal of Selection Criteria

Selection criteria

This document is a first draft for the selection criteria to be used when selecting the estimated 600 interpreters to be present at the 5th European Social Forum to be held in Malmö, Sweden. Critics, suggestions, improvements and other comments are very welcome and highly encouraged!!!

Estimated total number of interpreters needed: 600
Target number of interpreters coming from Nordic countries: 300
Interpreters coming from the rest of Europe:300
Very optimistic if they have to fulfil the criteria below!!! But we can try
I think we really need to have a first general figure/overview of available (not only the registered) interpreters, by 1. sending the 3rd call; 2. selecting/confirming the first round of interpreters; and 3. writing down an 'ideal' number or rough guess of how many interpreters we will need per language. we know it will keep changing until the programme is ready, but we need some sort of guideline.
I back Grazie on this one.

(Rod:We will not know untill mid-end June the languages we will need, we might need i.e. 10 Spanish interpreters or 100, or maybe none! this is why I propose to start selecting from now interpreters in Group1 based in Nordic countries, we should not wait, but we do not have a system to start selecting yet).

4 main principles are used when defining the selection criteria: (rod: these are the principles upon which we base the criteria, not the criteria itself, note that we need to take into account that Bus transportation was mentioned as the possible way to bring interpreters from Spain! we need to base the criteria upon these items also)

1) Professional [I would add 'and experienced'] [I would add 'and experienced' depending on the languages we are talking of. Please remember each booth (the selection process for a given language) is a different microcosmos. The Spanish booth selection process will be different to the Norwegian booth selection process] interpreters are given higher priority.
2) Interpreters with experience in previous fora are very important to the future of Babels and a guarantee for the success of the forum [not always!!!what about the tourists?? or those like Alexei? he has been to several forums. we should be really carefull with this]. [I agree with Grazie. Also, new students would not get the chance to learn about the Forums and they might be better interpreters than people who have been to a Forum and have not done it well or have preferred to go see the Louvre instead of helping out in times of need].(rod: I agree, but remember before bringing new students from Southern Europe universities we are trying to bring people from Nordic Europe to develop Babels up here and to again, save in travel arrangements, do not forget that committed interpreters are really one of the top targets)
3) For political and budgetary reasons, interpreters living in Nordic [I would add 'and Eastern'] Europe, regardless of their level of experience, are given higher priority as well. As well as cities and regions from where travel arrangements are easy and cheap [I'd rather not call it cheap, otherwise we wouldn't be giving a chance to people from every country; just London, Paris and Barcelona?!] (rod: again, as discussed in the meeting, people from everywhere are more than welcome, but we need to emphasize that we are going do a great work to get interpreters up here)
4) It is assumed that all the interpreters working with Nordic languages also work with some of the foreseen needed languages, which can be used as pivot languages when needed. don't quite understand this point. I hope we consider 'all' languages potential needed languages... provided we have 3 interpreters we can always have a booth and if we tell people in advance: look, we can have a farsi or a burmese booth they will feel more included. I agree with Grazie. (rod: let me explain you, we saw from the activity registration form that i.e English, Swedish, German, French would be needed languages, so if all the speakers use Swedish, the Swedish booth will contain most needed languages as well, this is to avoid filling the Swedish booth with Swedish-Burmese interpreters... If we apply the "we have 3 interpreters for I.E.farsi, feel free to use it", we are entering the dangerous area of offering everything and nothing, with the increase in the number of interpreters that will imply).

The term needed languages refers to the ones established as priority one after the Merging Group has considered the activities proposed and the languages included in the activity registration forms. The list of needed languages will be sent to the Malmö list as soon as the Merging group has it ready. The needed languages list will include major European languages, Nordic languages and other languages requested by the participants. This list will also show an estimation of the number of interpreters needed per language. I really think we cannot wait until we get it. first of all because generally people say they need EN and a CEE language... then, because it will be too late. last but not least, because we cannot count only on the Merging group or the organizations to give us a list of what THEY want. they will all say that Swedes undertsand English and so on. again, we are talking about exclusion X inclusion. WHO really understands English? most of my neighboors don't... we can always be quite sure about some languages, and try to fight about other.
I agree with Grazie.
(rod: we need to give time to Sitpreps in Malmo, and I do not really see how we are going to take decissions ourselves without the Merging group telling us what the organizers want! This is why we go to Kiev, to tell them "we can offer what you want/need, tell it to us now". This is why we also include Babels information in the activity and participants registration form, do not forget that at the end of the day, we really depend on who is gonna speak and who is going to listen).

Target number of professional interpreters: 70% [do we have an estimate of the percentage of professionals either in the database as a whole or in the malmo project? it would be interesting, so that we can be aware of what we may expect.] (rod: I do not know, Julie will tell us, but this is the target, in this way we can justify our selections).
Target number of occasional, experienced [I think experienced should be separated, since it means 'You have received a complete or nearly complete training in simultaneous interpretation and / or you already have done simultaneous interpretation on quite a few occasions, either with Babels or in other circumstances; you feel confident working in the booth.'] [I agree with Grazie - pros and experienced are one thing, occasional and first timers another.']and 1st time interpreters : 30%
I would say that quality is the top priority and thus it is not a matter of being a professional or not but being able to do it! Sitprep. I agree. there are lots of 'non-professionals' who do a great job and some professionals who seem first-experiences... that's why I think we shouldn't count only on the database, when possible.
(rod: Agreed in this, "experienced" and professionals can be merges, maybe we just need to redefine what both mean, where can we do this?)

3 variables are considered:
Level of experience (professional, experienced, ocassional and 1st time interpreters). Working languages (to be defined after the Merging Group meeting). don't agree. we cannot wait until then. I think we should already go to Kiev with estimates. (rod: what estimates? any suggestion? Nordic, Eastern European and what else?)
Location (Nordic Europe + Eastern Europe, rest of Europe and rest of the world). (rod: Bringing interpreters from Eastern Europe is a priority because we want to grow in the East, but I think for the matter of these variables, they are "rest of Europe" as well)

• Professional interpreters based in Nordern Europe with needed languages. We won’t know the languages needed before June so I would suggest to select all professionals in Northern Europe whatever their language
• Occasional, experienced [I would have a good look at experienced together with professionals] and 1st time interpreters based in Nordern Europe with needed languages (taking into consideration Sitprep self-validation reports [I wouldn't count only on self-evaluation, when possible for the ones with less experience). I would suggest to check first if they really need a sitprep, some people under-rate their skills and say they are 1st timer because they have no professional experience but have been working in the booth for years at the Uni (for example) But I would also keep an eye on those who seem to overestimate themselves... I think those who have done simultaneous for years at uni should be marked as 'experienced', not as first-time (first time is your absolutely first time inside a booth). I would never count on self-evaluation only (it is only the first step); there have been too many cases already of people who are useless and think they're doing great

(rod: this is a very "expensive" approach, we will be putting students from i.e. Valencia University who have not graduated yet at the same level as professional working for many years in i.e. Italy, that would make the selection very expensive. I am in favour of bringing students, but I am sure we can get them from Central, Nordern Europe).
• Professional interpreters working with Nordic languages and Eastern European Languages (Turkish as well) based in Europe.
• Professional interpreters working with the needed languages based in Europe.
• Experienced, occasional and 1st time interpreters working with Nordic languages based in Europe (taking into consideration Sitprep self-validation reports for the ones with less experience).
• Interpreters with experience in several fora based in Europe working with needed languages (at least 3 ESF or WSF). That’s a bit strict to me. Let’s say one
I agree. besides, taking into account the tourists... I think we should even 'warn' them having a sort of 'commitment policy/protocol'.
(rod: I suggest that we do our most to spot "tourists" beforehand, maybe 1 forum is enough, but again, giving continuity to experienced Babelistas is crucial for the future of Babels, otherwise people will stop coming to forums and furthermore most of them are really politically involved)
• All interpreters who are not included in Group 1 or Group 2.

Selection process
Interpreters must be registered in the Malmö list in order to be considered for the selection process.

I STRONGLY suggest that we divide selection, as for other Forums, into booths, by countries, once we know how many we need from and to each language, it makes the process much more horizontal. But I do agree that the people in Nordic countries should be contacted as soon as possible. And, if we are in a hurry for Kiev we could bring estimates, but not names yet. Among other reasons, someone in Sweden will have no idea whether an Italian student who went to Athens, indeed interpreted well, or went on paid holidays and never reached the booth. The Italian coordinator will know how well people did and who can be trusted. I also believe that selection coordinators should rotate in each country where possible, with the help of those who did the selection for the previous Forum. Perhaps for each country we could create a selection distribution list, where those who selected last time (in Spain it was Jesus, Marta and me) could help out those who volunteer now to select. Like this there would not just be a few people specialising in selection and it would help decentralising power ***totally totally totally agree! this made me think that instead of room coordinators each booth's coordinator(s) should be in charge of 'auditing' - checking if 'their' interpreters are doing what they are suppose to or just having fun and going to see the acropolis...

(rod: I suggest that once we decide which languages are priority we tell Sophie and Francisco that we can start selecting people, who should belong to group 1 for now, we can create our own auditing system and design both selection teams who should periodically send lists with suggested interpreters to the coordination list and we can all spot tourists and non-wanted in this way, then we send the list to the person buying the tickets who finally sends confirmation to the interpreter).
Phase 1
All professional interpreters living in Nordern Europe, regardless of their languages, can already be contacted in May and travel arrangements can start. we should think about a liason system with the Finance working group/Francisco and Lina After the Merging group meeting in June, the rest of Group 1 interpreters can be contacted and tickets to Malmö can be booked. Deadline for confirmation by interpreters: 20th June. I think we cannot be too strict about it. of course we must tell them that there is a deadline, but if we don't fulfill the target number of interpreters we will have to call more people again and again generally even a week before the forum starts... Besides, new professionals are always welcome... we always may get in touch with a new bunch of interpreters, and even if it is after this deadline we shouldn't 'lose' them. It goes for the next phases too. it will all depend on how things will go for each booth...

Phase 2
Once the needed languages are defined and travel arrangements for Group 1 interpreters are started, Group 2 interpreters will be contacted according to the gaps that Group 1 interpreters have not covered. Deadline for interpreter´s confirmation: 10th July.

Phase 3
Group 3 interpreters are contacted if Group 1 and Group 2 interpreters do not cover the specific linguistic needs or do not reach the required number. In the case of the need of Group 3 interpreters, the cheapest traveling options will be given priority. I don't agree because one of Babell principles is to include new people/first-time interpreters, provided they can interpret. the ideal but never reached was to always have a professional working with a less experienced. so, I think we should include some first-time interpreters anyway otherwise babels will be a closed group and this is not the idea as far as I know. I agree with Graziela. Still let's distinguish, PLEASE between first-timers (EVER in a booth), and experienced students who are for the first time in a Forum, but can do it well and can also learn about Forums and make Babels grow and develop Deadline for interpreter´s confirmation: 31th July

(rod: I do not understand you Graziela, many first time interpreters belong to group 1 and group 2, this is to avoid ending up buying tickets from Peru for the Spanish booth. THis is also to justifiy that we might be bringing a Burmese interpreter from Burma, if we really need so).
If the 4 phases are met on time, the team of interpreters will be completed by August 1st, more than 1 month before the forum. Last minute changes, unexpected surprises and pending exceptions shall be dealt with during August. The team of Babels members to take care of the process is still to be defined, but ideally this team should be based in Malmö and have direct daily contact with the staff members in Malmö.
I think each coordination should be involved. In the case of places where there is no coordination, such as Poland, Baltic countries, Portugal, etc, etc, etc, we should try to start one as soon as possible.

(rod: I suggest someone please takes away the discussion part and after talking with Sophie we define deadlines, language/booth cordinators and person in charge of buying tickets. Again very important thing that Francisco mentioned, for budgetary reasons some interpreters may be put in a bus from Istambul to reach Malmö a week later :)

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