Look out for the future, because you never know what it might bring…
Question #47855 posted on 10/10/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do the general authorities that can speak two languages do their own translations for general conference? Do they record all of the translations before hand, or do they do live translations?

-Phee Lyne

A: Dear Phee Lynne,

I know that Elder Scott does his own translation for his conference talks (into Spanish). In his case, he then records the Spanish version ahead of time. However, for most speakers (and most languages) the interpretation is done live. (As Katya reminded me, translation refers to written communication, while interpretation refers to spoken language.)

—Laser Jock
A: Dear Ethel,

I know President Uchtdorf writes all his talks in English and German and most likely records them in German as well. I have heard that some of the others, who do not have English as their first language, most likely record them in their native language so that the listeners during Conference hear their voices. All the recordings would be done beforehand. Since there are many languages left to be translated, the speakers are all asked to turn their talks in about two weeks before Conference. That way, they can be translated by the Church's Translation Department and then read live during the Conference broadcast, leaving open the possibility of some improvisation.

-Polly Esther
A: Dear Phee,

Elder Scott also does translations into Portuguese (which he reads nice . . . and . . . slow. . . because it can be hard for natives to understand). I know that many native speakers (again Spanish and Portuguese) do not translate their own talk into their native languages themselves. I assume, as has been indicated above, that it is because they need to have their talks finished, word for word, well before conference.

- Rating Pending (who does not give talks often and sometimes rewrites them during the opening hymn)