5 Oct 2015

Week 62 - Behind the scenes at General Conference - Athens

This past weekend was the Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Twice a year the leaders of the Church broadcasts a weekend of talks from its conference centre in Salt Lake. The speakers are assigned from the First Presidency, The quorum of the 12 Apostles and the quorums of Seventies. It is a global event with members around the world watching in buildings via satellite or streamed live on the internet.
All the talks this conference were given in English and then translated for various countries. Here is a look behind the scenes of how this happens for the members in Greece and Cyprus.

The talks given at conference are written and submitted by the assigned speakers in advance, these are then distributed to translating committees around the world. By the time conference starts the translations are done and typed up in the required languages. 

For this conference Elder Teal and Elder Peel were assigned to assist and voice some of the translated talks. This involves reading/recording the Greek translation while the talk is being presented live. If the speaker deviates slightly the reader has to translate on the fly. So it involves reading in Greek, listening in English and speaking a combination of what is read and heard, all live, in one hit.


"It's been a strange but great weekend, I was with Elder Peel and we did the interpretations for general conference! We were up from 6 in the evening until 1 in the morning doing it, on Saturday and Sunday! We did it live as they were talking in the States, so that's why it had to be so late at night. We did it together with the Branch Presidency from the Greek branch here in Athens, and we had a lot of fun doing it. I also did two prayers, which aren't written and you just have to translate live, so that was fun too."

"It was also interesting because we knew that the three apostles would be called before they were, as in the list of speakers it just said (New) three times in a row. We didn't know the names, but we knew we would have all 3. So after the names were announced they sent us the talks and then really late on the Saturday the translation team got to work translating them for the next day."


"We were there at the Branch Presidents house, and we had the machine where you can hear the talk in English and have to talk into a mic which records the Greek. So we couldn't hear the talks that we ourselves weren't doing the interpretation for, so we didn't really follow the conference properly. It was just Elder Peel and I, we did several each and I also did 2 prayers, and he 1. I did the opening prayers for Sunday AM and closing prayer Saturday AM.
It was a lot of fun, before the conference started you could hear the checks and things, and someone from Salt Lake spoke through the machine asking if the Greek team are doing okay, so I spoke to him and we had a quick chat. It was really interesting to be "behind the scenes"of General Conference, and to get a glimpse of how it all works."

"We will watch it next weekend here in Halandri all together."


Above a talk voiced by Elder Teal.
As parents it is very strange to recognise our sons voice but not understand his words.

All other Greek translations of conference can be found HERE

In other news

"It's been a good week, we had a lesson with a lady for the first time, and Elder Klestrup had a lesson with Elder Scheltinga (Elder Peel's companion) on Saturday with E, the lady from last week.
Yes we have transfers this week, and also a visit from Elder Hamula who is a 70 and is something to do with church history. He's coming to have a meeting with all of the members and another with the missionaries. We will taxi him around a couple of times, and we will also visit a few historical sites with him which will be fun, like Korinth and Nafplio!"

"Elder Klestrup and I get on really well and have a lot of fun together, he's great. he also has done really well to make me feel welcome from the beginning, and not at all like I've come late to a party and he has to show me what to do, we were just equal companions right from the start."

"Yep! Two late nights in a row, and yesterday we were at church for about 8 hours with the two branches and tithing afterwards. And it was also fast Sunday, so we didn't have much energy at all."

Driving - another skill that needed dusting off this week

"Yeah it was fun! I really enjoyed it, and didn't have any problems at all. Driving an automatic car is so easy. I also drove on the motorway and I am getting used to driving on the other (right) side of the road! "



1 comment:

Aric said...

I served in Greece from 2004-2006 and it was my privilege to participate in translating for general conference as well. What a cool opportunity! I was just commenting to my wife how difficult it would have been for translators to adequately translate words like "ponderize". Haha, thanks a lot Elder Durrant. Best wishes to your son in Greece. It's the greatest mission on earth!

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