How To Get Started Translating
So what does it take to be a Chaos interpreter? Obviously you need a high level of fluency in the source and target languages, and experience with translating between them. If that applies to you, you might be wondering if you can handle the simultaneous aspect of interpreting. We would encourage you to try and explore this – that is what Chaos is all about.
You can start on your own: Pick any recorded talk, maybe on a subject that you are familiar with. Start the talk and listen to it on headphones. As a first exercise, you could simply repeat what is being said in the same language (“shadowing”). Or try interpreting the talk “in your mind” (without speaking, so no headphones required). Or you can try doing an actual, spoken interpretation.
In the run-up to an event, we are likely to offer a couple of training sessions where you can meet and experience yourself and others being thrown in at the deep end, again interpreting recorded talks. These will be audio-only online meetings using Mumble, for which you need to have a working Mumble setup with headphones and basic familiarity with connecting to a server, picking a channel and speaking in Voice Activation or Push-to-Talk mode.
If you decide to try interpreting at an event, don’t worry too much about potential failure. We always interpret in groups of two, and we will put you together with one or two experienced interpreters who could take over and, in the worst case, do the whole talk without you. And don’t give up if things don’t work out the first time.