The Anatomy of Simultaneous Interpretation Skills & Voice Training for Conference Interpreters

23 Sep 17

08:30 — 17:30

Chicago, IL, USA



The Talbott Hotel
Reed Room
20 E. Delaware Place

Cyril Flerov, AIIC, TAALS



Presented by Cyril Flerov


  • Before September 19, 2017
    • $100.00 for members
    • $120.00 for non-members
  • After September 19, 2017
    • $120.00 for members
    • $140.00 for non-members

Payment accepted via PayPal on the Events page at or by check payable to CHICATA sent to Beth Farkas, CHICATA Treasurer, 350 N. Airlite Street, Elgin, IL 60123

NOTE: Certified members of the American Translators Association are eligible to receive 7  Continuing Education Points for participating in this workshop.


Check In and Registration: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Morning Session: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Lunch: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM  (A list of local eateries will be provided)
Afternoon Session: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Questions and Discussion:  5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Morning Session

“The Anatomy of Simultaneous Interpretation Skills”

An intuitive understanding of how simultaneous interpretation (SI) works (especially if the interpreter has no formal training) may not be sufficient to continue upgrading your interpretation skills. There is a certain degree of self-analysis that is required as well as an understanding of basic linguistic concepts behind the process of SI.

This session introduces various basic and advanced processes during simultaneous interpretation both  for beginners and for practicing interpreters and shows how the principles can be used to interpret with more awareness of the inner mechanisms of interpretation. Finer points of SI skills, including SI flow,  input text analysis, segmentation, probability prediction/anticipation, mental readiness, and many others are described in detail. This session also touches upon creative aspects of interpretation, such as degree of closeness to the original, accommodating various audiences, and interpreter credibility.

The speaker will show examples of various exercises to start mastering SI skills or to advance your existing skills.

An original PowerPoint presentation consisting of 250+ slides developed by the speaker is used to illustrate the finer points of SI skills. This session is geared towards both student interpreters and practicing interpreters willing to integrate their skills

Afternoon Session

“Voice Training for Conference Interpreters”

There is a certain degree of misunderstanding, even among some interpreters, about teaching voice skills. Some think that it is better left to voice trainers and not interpretation trainers. However, we should be more aware of the fact that traditional voice training does not cover some of the voice skills  interpreters need. Correcting student voice should become a routine part of interpreter training from the very beginning.

This session is designed both for interpreter students and practicing interpreters. This 4-hour lecture covers the basics of voice work as needed by conference interpreters. This session is richly illustrated  with audio examples and is accompanied by 220+ slides. Various techniques to illustrate developing professional voice qualities are presented, as well as computer software and other assets.

In this presentation, the following elements will be covered: voice properties and abilities, common issues interpreters have with voice and ways to resolve them, using computer software to work on voice (practical session with demonstrations and exercises), and voice care.

We will cover basic vocal work and exercises for professional language interpreters and students of interpretation. Interpreter voice is evaluated by users of interpretation subconsciously and is an important factor in creating interpreter credibility. We will talk about specific voice characteristics e.g. pitch, volume, rhythm, etc. in generic terms and specifically as each characteristic is used in simultaneous or consecutive interpretation.

Some exercises we will see involve use of free computer software and work with prerecorded audio files. Voice care and preventing voice issues are briefly covered. The information may be used by students  and by the interpreters already practicing on the market as a tool for self-evaluation.

Because it would be unethical to criticize a boothmate’s performance, no feedback from colleagues is usually offered, so many issues – including voice problems – remain uncorrected. It is particularly true for self-taught or volunteer interpreters.

The Workshop Facilitator

Cyril Flerov is a professionally trained San Francisco, USA based Russian conference interpreter (Russian A, English B) educated both in Russia and in the United States. He has over 25 years of experience in simultaneous and consecutive interpretation, and he has worked freelance at events organized by major US, Russian, UK, and international clients. A member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) and of The American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS), he has experience teaching simultaneous and  consecutive  interpretation  both  in  Russia  and  in  the United States, including MIIS - Middlebury Institute of International Studies (formerly the Monterey  Institute of International Studies) in Monterey, California. His speaking  engagements  about  interpretation include AIIC, TAALS, NASA, California Federation of Interpreters, MIIS, CHICATA (Chicago Area Translators and Interpreters Association), STIBC (Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia), Vancouver, BC, Canada, and others. He  has authored  a variety of   publications for the AIIC Blog and Webzine, The Linguist Magazine (UK), Yelabuga Institute of Kazan  Federal  University  (in Russian),  ATA, and for various online groups, including his group “Teaching Simultaneous Interpretation” on LinkedIn. He is the Executive Secretary of TAALS and a member of the AIIC USA Regional Bureau. In 2016 he co-authored with Michael Jacobs the first ever book on voice training for interpreters Improving the Interpreter’s Voice.

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