[atrt2] Update from Language Services for ATRT 2

Larisa B. Gurnick larisa.gurnick at icann.org
Thu Aug 15 16:19:17 UTC 2013

>From Nora Abusitta:

As you may know, ICANN Language Services has, until a few months ago, been working on providing language services support through an array of different services (translation, simultaneous interpretation, teleconference interpretation, transcription, scribing), but all these from a function perspective, and not a physical organized department with all the necessary members in place.  Fortunately this much desired initiative is finally coming to place during FY14.

For the past few months, we have been working with Nora, in assessing and planning accordingly, in order to support the community, stakeholder groups and the organization's needs in a more detailed, yet comprehensive manner.  To begin moving forward with the deployment of our plan, we are hiring the first four language experts.  These language experts will have ownership of their corresponding language pair, each being the combination of EN (English) and their native language (FR = French, RU = Russian, ES = Spanish, ZH = Chinese and AR = Arabic).  The first four experts hired represent a great step on moving forward to what we envision, a "quality driven service".

Each language expert will be in charge of consolidating terminology data bases, validating terms, assessing and reviewing the quality of the service and material delivered by outsourced vendors, for their corresponding language pair.  At the same time, each language expert will become the point of contact for community members, stakeholder groups and ICANN staff, for any needs, queries, revision of terminology and anything related to the language pair they represent. They will also take the role of Head-Interpreter (of the language pair they own) to provide support and see through the proper use of terminology by the rest of the interpreters.

As a team, we will work together on the creation of a QA (Quality Assurance) process to ensure the enhancement of the service by delivering, consistency in terminology, the adequate use of accepted terms, and a wide range of accessible glossaries for every subject (IDNs, New gTLDs, General Terminology, ICANN Acronyms, etc.).

To address the growing needs we recognize within participation and engagement, as well as our capacity to provide services, we are already preparing to increase the support in the needed areas, as well as consolidating the current support in others:

TRANSLATION - We have added new vendors to our current list of vendors in order to be able to cope with volume (for example: when we are approaching ICANN meetings and right after an ICANN meeting, the volume of translation requests increases between 50% and 70%).

SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETATION - During the last three ICANN meetings, we have conducted an assessment to understand the needs and requests for interpretation support. Having done this, we will be consolidating the team of interpreters to better serve these needs by providing support to the sessions which really need the support.

TELECONFERENCE INTERPRETATION - For many years, teleconference interpretation has been provided for groups interacting in EN, ES and FR (English, Spanish and French). A year ago, and after a unanimous request from ALAC/At-Large, we have moved from providing this service through ADIGO to providing the service of teleconference interpretation using our own team of interpreters, the same interpreters supporting ICANN meetings. We have not only been able to optimize the service from a financial point of view, but most importantly we have a very high quality service. We developed a device (the first in the industry) which permits our interpreters to provide the teleconference service through land-lines and not VOIP connection, almost as if they were rendering the service from an interpretation booth.

Due to an increasing demand of these services, and hoping to assist the community and stakeholder groups during their WG sessions, and PDPs (Policy Development Processes), by December of this year, we will be able to provide the service in all 6 UN Languages, including Portuguese for the GAC.

TRANSCRIPTION - Although transcription services have been provided in many languages for some time, the volume of sessions and number of languages as well, is being increased in order to support the WG (Working Groups). As we currently are providing transcriptions for all teleconference calls, as well as the session taking place during ICANN meetings, we are planning to increase this service as additional support to the new languages being added for teleconference interpretation support.

We have been able to improve our turn-around time for the delivery of transcriptions to 24 hrs. from the submission of the audio file, in some cases we have been able to deliver the same day. We have negotiated with our vendor the increase of resources dedicated to ICANN during ICANN meetings in order to be able to publish the related transcripts much faster.

SCRIBING - Scribing services at ICANN have been delivered by the one same vendor for a very long time.  We are testing new service providers in order to optimize this support, and ultimately increase the availability of the service.  Although all Board sessions as well as the Opening Ceremony and Public Forum have always received scribing support, only some GAC sessions were also being supported with this service. After a long time requesting an increment of this service, the meeting in Durban, ICANN 47, was the first ICANN meeting where we provided scribing support for absolutely every single GAC session.

Larisa B. Gurnick
Consultant/Senior Director, Organizational Reviews
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
larisa.gurnick at icann.org<mailto:larisa.gurnick at icann.org>
310 383-8995

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