Simultaneous Language Interpretation is the ONLY Thing we do!

What’s Better:   A Generalist or a Specialist?

 

OK – I’m going to make you work a little bit this time.  Here’s a Quiz for you:

You live in Florida;  It’s July;  The Air Conditioner in your Toyota just stopped working!  Where do you take your car to get the A/C fixed?

a.)    The local tire shop where the signs on the building say:  “Tires, Brakes, Alignments, Transmissions, and A/C”?

b.)    The Service Department at the nearby Jeep Dealer?

c.)     Your Brother-In-Law, Murry, who says he fixed his own A/C once.

d.)    The Toyota Dealer where you bought the vehicle – which happens to have a complete, separate Heat & A/C department dedicated strictly to Toyota vehicles?

You walk into the unused guest room of your house;  You’re in bare feet and the carpet is soaked;  You go into the garage and discover the Water Heater has sprung-a-leak and flooded the entire garage and guest bedroom.  Who do you call?

a.)    A “Handyman” you find on Craigslist who says he fixes everything?

b.)    Home Depot to see how much a new Heater costs – because you have a Soldering Iron and figure you can “Do-It-Yourself”?

c.)     The first “General Plumbing” company that pops up on Google?

d.)    A bit more “Googling” yields:  “Water Heater Express” who claim,…  “Repairing/Replacing Hot Water Heaters is the ONLY thing we do.  There are 32 items on your Water Heater we can fix BEFORE we are forced to change your entire Water Heater.  We’ll show up within an hour and have you ‘All Fixed Up’ within two”.

Your 7-year old son hasn’t been feeling well;  You get some tests done;  The results come back;  He’s diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)!  (Editor’s Note:  RELAX!  This is only a blog post – but this scenario does make for a good example dudn’t  :).  So where do you take your son?

a.)    Take him back to the “Family Doc”?

b.)    Take him to one of the doctors the Family Doc suggested – who are staff doctors at the nearby hospital?

c.)     Take him to New Orleans to the best “Voodoo Witch Doctor” you can find?

d.)    Get on Google again (how did we ever live without Google,…?) and find Dr. Spock of “The Child’s Leukemia Center of YOUR City” where Dr. Spock’s bio reads:

“I have treated and cared for children with Leukemia my entire 33 year career.  In fact, for the last 16 years, I have done nothing but research the disease and treat children under the age of 10 that are diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).”

Well, by now I’m pretty sure you get the point – and I could probably stop right here.   But the fact is,…  I’m on a “Roll” so you’re just going to have to “Put Up With Me”.  Therefore, I shall Press On.

And the Obvious Point is:

If you’re looking for Simultaneous Language Interpretation provider, why choose a “Generalist” when you can have a “Specialist”?

Now given the above scenarios, why would you even consider going anywhere else but to the Specialist?   The Specialist “Is Exactly” what you need.  The Specialist “Does Exactly” what you need done.  The Specialist is the perfect match between Problem & Solution – because, well,… he’s The Specialist.

Now I’m pretty sure, simply because you’re here reading this, that at one point or another you’ve looked for Simultaneous Language Interpretation service providers.  And I bet this is what you found:  Just about every provider you dug up on the internet claimed to “Do It All”.  Meaning:

    • Legal, Medical, Corporate Transcriptions
    • Document, Technical, Web Site Translation
    • Audience Response systems
    • Keypad Voting Devices
    • Voice-Over Service
    • Web-Cast Dubbing
    • Telephone Interpreting (Consecutive)
    • Legal Interpreting (in the courtroom)
    • Medical Interpreting (between doctor & patient)
    • And Finally,… Simultaneous Language Interpretation

Truth be known,… Universe did a lot of that in the past as well – particularly a lot of written translation.  But some number of years ago, it became pretty clear that trying to “Be-All-Things-To-All-People” just wasn’t an effective business model.  It’s just plain hard trying to be good at everything – if not Impossible!  So Universe made the decision to strip it all away except Simultaneous Language Interpretation.

So over the past 15-Years and Having worked Hundreds & Hundreds of Simultaneous Language Interpretation events,…

Simultaneous Language InterpretationHere’s where we’ve worked:

    • Small Hotels
    • Huge Hotels/Resorts
    • Convention Centers
    • University Campuses
    • Corporate Headquarters
    • Theme Parks
    • Government Facilities

 

Simultaneous Language InterpretationHere’s who we’ve worked for:

    • Corporate/Private/Governmental End Clients
    • Event Planners
    • Production Companies
    • Audio/Visual Companies
    • Independent/Individual Language Interpreters
    • Other Simultaneous Language Interpretation Service Providers

 

Simultaneous Language InterpretationHere are some of the Difficulties we’ve conquered:

    • General Radio Frequency Interference
    • Placing the Interpretation Booths behind the stage where the massive amount of A/V equipment  kills the Radio Frequency broadcast to the audience
    • Events where the Music, Audience, Sound System is louder than the Interpreter’s voices
    • Locations where this is no room for an Interpretation Booth (or not an “Entire” booth)
    • Equipment/Booths that don’t fit into the venue’s elevators
    • Interpretation Equipment failures
    • No sound system to feed audio (the presentation itself) into the Interpretation Booth
    • The distance between the A/V Platform (our audio feed source) and the booth itself being too far apart to connect with normal cabling
    • Managing the Distribution/Collection of the audience’s individual Receivers (up to 6,000 of them for a single event)

OK – Think I’m finally running out of gas.  But let me leave you with a fun Challenge.  I Challenge you to call any of the three of us here at Universe and try to “Stump” any of us with a question, problem, or issue of any kind.  Go ahead.  Here’s our direct phone numbers.

Carlos Solis  (504)512-2012Simultaneous Language Interpretation

          • Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment
          • Shipping, Logistics, Transportation
          • Equipment Sales/Rentals
          • Troubleshooting/Technical Issues

 

Giovanna Serrano  (504)528-8675Simultaneous Language Interpretation

          • Language Interpreters
          • Contracts/Schedules/Finance
          • Interpreter/Technician Assignments
          • Event Preparation & Structuring

 

Simultaneous Language InterpretationKevin Enos  (407)535-1810

          • On-Site Event Execution/Management
          • Equipment Technician
          • Client/Venue/Staff Liaison
          • Sound System/Microphone/Audio Engineer

 

Here’s the point:  I claim that you can’t talk to any one of us (regarding our particular piece of the business) for more than 3-4 minutes without it becoming crystal clear that we REALLY KNOW THIS BUSINESS!  We REALLY know what we’re doing.  And that we REALLY ARE “Specialists” at Simultaneous Language Interpretation.

Love to hear your comments below (or at least know that you survived all the way to the end of this post),…

 

The advantages of hiring a Simultaneous Interpretation provider owned & operated by practicing Language Interpreters.

Here’s a Huge Industry SECRET You Need To Know!

Once upon a time, I worked as a Software Engineer for one of the largest corporations on the planet (hint:  they make refrigerators and jet engines,…).  And as you might expect, for the most part,… we lowly engineers were managed by,… well,… managers.  Managers meaning non-engineer types.  Our bosses had accounting, business, management degrees,… but very few were actually engineers who had spent time in the trenches like us.

Simultaneous Interpretation

Can’t you debug that Operating System any faster?

So, we had non-engineers telling real engineers what to do and how to do it.  Getting the picture?  You’re right.  Doesn’t sound like a good idea does it?  Well, we didn’t think so either.  Can’t even begin to count the times when we were asked (told) to do something that made no sense at all, or just plain couldn’t be done, from a software point of view.  So many times it just seemed like the case where “They didn’t know what they didn’t know”.

Well, what does all that have to do with Simultaneous Interpretation?  I’m pretty sure you’ve already figured that out.  You just can’t beat an organization where the Owners/Operators/Managers have done, or still do, what their organization provides.  And that’s exactly what you have with Universe.

Simultaneous Interpretation

Carlos Solis

Universe’s owners, Carlos Solis and Giovanna Serrano, originally entered the industry as Spanish Interpreters.

Then after years  “In The Trenches” they made the natural transition – from individual Simultaneous Interpreters to Simultaneous Interpretation Service Providers.  So, Universe Language Solutions was born!

Simultaneous Interpretation

Giovanna Seranno

These days, Carlos mainly runs the technical part of the business while Giovanna handles the business end.  But they both still, on occasion, “Man The Booth”.

So given their background and experience, they know First-Hand:

  • How to tell a good interpreter from a marginal interpreter.
  • What type of environment an Interpreter needs to perform well.
  • How to match Interpreters (skills & background) to the intended audience.
  • What it’s like trying to interpret using wrong or inadequate equipment.
  • What the assigned Technician/Conference Manager must do to execute a clean, problem-free event.
  • What assortment of equipment will be best for any particular event?
  • The value of providing the Interpreters with specific, presentation content prior to the start of the event.
  • How to coordinate Interpreters, Technicians, Equipment, Shipping, Transportation, Contracts, Schedules,… to insure a successful event!

Now the obvious “Flip Side” of this coin is that, from what we’ve seen and heard, most other Simultaneous Interpretation providers are NOT Owned/Operated/Managed by interpreters.  Many are not even bilingual.  Now I’m not saying that they can’t effectively manage their business or execute successful events,…

But, you just can’t argue with the benefits (tangible & intangible) of:

  • Talking To
  • Coordinating With
  • Depending Upon
  • Brainstorming With
  • Negotiating With
  • Developing/Changing Schedules
  • Working With

Someone who’s “Been There and Done That”!

OK, I think I’ve made my case.  So you can rest assured that, when you work with Universe, you’ll be working with an extremely capable, well-seasoned “Pro”.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Love to hear your feedback.  Please leave your comments below:

Universe Language Solutions is the ONLY Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment provider to use Ambient Noise Suppression

Fact:  There’s unnecessary noise in every Interpretation Broadcast,… Universe Eliminates It!

One valuable lesson in Business and Marketing, that I’ve used a lot, is to look at what’s working well in one industry and then try to apply it to your industry.  For example:  Did you know that the “Drive Thru Window” was not first introduced by Fast-Food restaurants?  Nope!  Actually, the “Drive Thru” was first used by Pharmacies.  That’s right!  Drive Thru Pharmacies came first.  The Fast Food industry saw this and easily adapted it to their own industry.

So why the story?  Well, this is exactly how Universe came to include the Ambient Noise Suppressor in its inventory of Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment.   Among other things I’ve done in the past, I have quite a background in running sound systems for live music.  Yup!  I’m a “Sound Guy”.  So, I’m pretty familiar with most of the gizmos & gadgets used in live sound systems – like Compressors, Limiters, Parametric Equalizers, Effect Processors, and Yup, you guessed it,… “Ambient Noise Suppressors”!

Now set all that aside for a moment, and let me talk about the “Real World” of Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment – used in the Real World of “Live” Interpretation Events.

Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment

Headset Microphones can pickup a lot of Ambient Noise.

Here’s the typical Live Interpretation Scenario:

  • The event’s presenter is speaking into a microphone which comes out of the room’s sound system.
  • The Interpreters sit in a Sound Reducing Interpretation Booth somewhere in the same room.
  • The Interpreters wear a Headset Microphone that they speak the “Interpreted” language into.

Well, the reality is – to one degree or another – the ambient noise in the room (opening/closing doors, people talking, coughing, air conditioner noise, etc,…) AND the presenter’s voice coming over the house sound system ALL finds its way into the Interpretation Booth and Into the Interpreter’s Headset Microphone!

What does all this mean?  Here’s the point:  All this ambient room noise (that we don’t want) gets into the Interpreter’s microphone and broadcast out to all the listeners as well as the Interpreter’s voice (which we do want).  And given that the nature of Interpretation is that the Interpreter’s voice ALWAYS lags behind that of the presenter’s,… There is always plenty of space between the Interpreter’s words where all this NOISE is obvious to (and many times irritating to) the listeners!

Yup!  That’s the way it is.  And that’s the way it is with EVERY Type/Brand of Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment out there – regardless of the type of equipment used or who the Interpretation Service Provider is.  This “Ambient Noise” issue is always there – like it or not!

Now back to my story:  After I’d worked a good handful of Interpretation Events as the “Technician” and “Conference Manager”,… this noise issue started becoming pretty obvious to me.  Actually, it really started “Bugging” me!  See, my background as a Sound Guy – coupled with the fact that I’m a hopeless “Perfectionist” – prevented me from simply living with it.  So to keep it from “Making Me Crazy”, I had no choice but to “Figure Something Out”.

Well once I’d put my finger on this issue, the solution was obvious.  Viola!  The “Ambient Noise Suppressor”!  So I took what was commonly used in one industry (Live Sound) and applied it to another industry that had never heard of it (Simultaneous Interpretation).

Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment

The Ambient Noise Suppressor is a “Must Have” piece of Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment at many events!

Now I know you’re just dying to hear the technicality of how this gadget works,… so here ya go!

Actually, the concept is pretty simple (no need to get into “Ohm’s Law” or the physics of “Electro-Magnetism” to understand this thing – we’ll save all that for a future post :).  Here’s the deal:  Any sound louder than a preset volume level (threshold) is allowed to pass through the Interpreter’s Microphone and be broadcast out to the listeners (i.e. the Interpreter’s Voice).  On the other hand, anything that is Quieter than this threshold (i.e. background noise) gets cutoff and is not broadcast out to the listeners.  Simply said, you set this thing up so that the Interpreter’s voice gets through but all the background noise gets cut out.  Pretty Cool Huh?

So here’s the end result:  What the listeners hear is much cleaner and clearer – making it much easier to listen to and understand.  They get an overall better experience because they don’t have to concentrate so hard just to hear the Interpreter’s voice above the clutter.  They can just relax and listen naturally and focus on the presentation itself.  Nice!  We thought you’d like it.  And you can only get it from Universe!

Questions?  Comments?  Have you ever heard anything like this from any other Simultaneous Interpretation Provider?  Please leave your feedback below: