University of Leeds Conference Interpreter Training System

Marie3 years ago2 min read

Situated in the prestigious Parkinson Building in the heart of Leeds the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology and is one of the largest and most diverse of its kind in the UK.  From undergraduate degrees right through to postgraduate study and globally impactful research projects, students benefit from the expertise and dedication of internationally recognised scholars, high-quality facilities and a welcoming environment. The Centre for Translation  Studies (CTS) conducts world- leading training in many aspects of Translation Studies and Conference Interpreting practice.

Following a major refurbishment in 2018 the Centre for Translation Studies decided to upgrade one of its conference interpreting suites to the very latest professional and digital technology. Various system providers were invited to present their systems to the University and, following a rigorous technical evaluation, there was one stand out system, it was the Sanako  Study 1200 Blended Learning and Interpreting System.

From the outset the priority was to deliver the best quality equipment with an intuitive user interface for staff and students alike. Additionally, the system should represent the technology which graduates would find when starting their careers as conference interpreters and translators. This would ensure they are already familiar with the system and its operation for a seamless transition as this technology is widely used at institutions such as; NATO, G20, Heads of Commonwealth, IOC etc conferences. The importance of the university’s in house technical team should not be overlooked. Their dedication and professionalism contributed greatly to the project’s success.

As one of the key criteria, ease of use for visiting lecturers where the advanced Sanako software was of tremendous benefit. This uniquely programmable & customisable software is intuitive and with many functions automated it greatly reduced any user training time required. The tutor can simply click on their name to start and the software will do the rest, with one touch conference record, automatic download audio/video files and two track auto collection to name but a few of the advanced features for the tutor. Dr Alina Secară, Lecturer in Translation Studies and manager comments, “This lab will further ensure that students are trained to use modern information and communication technologies in their workplace and we will continue to align our infrastructure with that of international institutions and the professional commercial sector.”

As the forward thinking University Technical Manager, Mr Paul Markowski, made the decision initially to install the latest touch screen computers in the interpreter booths form the outset, it meant students were already familiar with this technology.

Additionally in the Spring of 2020 it was a simple process to add the Sanako Connect Blended Learning module to facilitate remote Simultaneous and Consecutiveinterpreting assessments. Using video dubbing techniques and automatic voice insert it was a simple process to upload assessments to the cloud.

This on-line Conference Interpreting technology will be enhanced further with the release of a new module in 2020.