Investment NSW: a model case study in how to run a delegation with interpreters
There has been an exponential increase in visits to Australia by foreign delegations since the pandemic ended, including many hosted by Australian governments.
CHIN has been proud to partner with many of these government departments to assist delegations – from China and Japan mainly – with translation support.
Having been involved in this work for around 30 years, we’ve seen the best and worst of how to manage missions where English is not widely spoken by delegates. This Case Study can provide pointers to organisers of future missions about the importance of translation in their arrangements.
Interpreting for NSW Government
Investment NSW is all about growing the NSW economy focusing on innovation, investment, R&D, collaboration and exporting. Their Global Markets team is rich with Chinese speakers and experts and has plenty of experience in these inbound missions. We observe that when a host has Chinese speakers in their team, they are far more aware of the importance of translation in the planning and execution of a visit. They also know how to deploy interpreters and commission translations to get the most value for delegates as well as Australian presenters and stakeholders.
And thus it was for the recent NSW-Guangdong meeting held in Sydney with themes of Health and Life Sciences, and Merchandise Trade. Almost 200 participants heard addresses from keynote speakers, the Governor of NSW, Chairman of the Guangdong People’s Congress, and experts in the subject areas. Opportunities to visit institutions and pitch innovative projects to the Chinese visitors were provided and a cocktail party to celebrate the successful resumption of ties, post-Covid, rounded out a great three-day program.
Tips for Successful Translation & Interpreting at Events
There are so many keys to a successful event such as choice of venue, presenters, catering, timing – even luck plays a hand with weather; our observations are restricted to how the translation process was managed and our points below can help inform future organisers:
- Early engagement with translation service seeking capacity and resources
- Booking interpreters early to secure the best
- Preparing all programs and materials such as slide decks early to allow time to translate
- Ensuring the English and Chinese designs are equivalent
- Planning out the best deployment of interpreters, eg: simultaneous (live) interpreting for all conference elements; arranging consecutive interpreters for specialised site visits, networking and meetings
- Sitting the interpreters and their booth in a position to ensure visibility to screens and all technical arrangements to get their voices into delegate headphones
- Encouraging all presenters to prepare materials for presentation, eg speaking notes for interpreters as early as possible
- Ensuring enough breaks for interpreters knowing the demands Simultaneous Interpreting makes on them
- Providing all materials to the interpreters in English and Chinese well in advance
The team at Investment NSW ticked all of the boxes above and the event was very successful. We are sure that there will be successful collaborations and more investment as a result.
The interpreters were delighted to receive comprehensive information well translated in advance which added to the high standard of their delivery.
Sadly though, with many other events, we see translation arrangements left to the last minute which compromises the quality and the large budget an event can consume. If the language part is not done well, budgets are often wasted.
To end on a high note, Investment NSW’s networking reception, complete with roving interpreters, enabled delegates from Australia and China to cement friendships and business opportunities.
Nothing was left to chance – even the weather cooperated.