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Of all the unique aspects of the TEDxMonterey conference at the Monterey Institute of International Studies this Friday, April 16, one of the most unusual is that the conference will be streamed live on the Internet not just in English, but in up to five languages at once.

Students from the Institute’s Conference Interpretation degree programs will interpret the speakers live from booths at the back of the auditorium, with audience members able to listen in via headsets. At the same time, video of the live sessions and audio of each interpreter’s work will be streamed live on the event’s Web site. The streams will at various times feature interpretation of the proceedings in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.

Translation and interpretation student Fang Qiang (MATI ’10) could not think of a better learning opportunity: “In the classroom we sometimes use material from TED conferences for practice and we have really enjoyed the interesting subject matters. To get to participate in such an event in real life is amazing.”

Participating students receive an outline of each speaker’s presentation in advance, but typically do additional research on their own. As Fang Qiang notes, “It’s not enough to guess what they are saying.” During a recent rehearsal session, students took down notes to look up translations of certain words and talked to speakers about some of the more complicated or technical terminology.

The work that the Institute’s translation and interpretation students will be doing at TEDxMonterey highlights the dynamic profession they are training for, as well as the interdisciplinary approach taken by the Institute, which offers both content-centered policy and business degrees, and language-centered teaching and interpretation degrees.

The Monterey Institute will host TEDxMonterey on Friday, April 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Irvine Auditorium inside the McCone Building at 499 Pierce Street in Monterey.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TEDlike experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

TEDxMonterey is open to the public, but will be limited to 200 attendees in order to foster dialogue among participants. Tickets are $30 for general admission and $20 for students.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir