SALT LAKE CITY (Good4Utah) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broadcasts their Semiannual General Conference to members around the world. In order for that to happen, an Interpretation Team turns each talk into 94 different languages.
Sead Osmani is one of the three leaders of the Interpretation teams for the Church. While he lives in America now, he is originally from Italy. He has been interpreting for the church for over twenty years.
Osmani explained the Interpretation team is, “Bigger than the United Nations. They do six languages while we do 94 for one event. It’s amazing.”
Volunteers from around the world represent their own respective country turning each General Conference address into their own language.
They work inside the Conference Center in Downtown Salt Lake City sending out the audio to people watching in Church buildings or online around the world.
Edwin Tandiman is originally from Jakarta, he has been translating the words of his Apostles and Church Leaders into his native tongue for 22 years.
Tandiman explained, “I was born in Indonesia and now I live in the United States and I have the opportunity to serve the Lord by serving others and especially others in Indonesia.”
Tara Dita is also from Jakarta, she is new to the Indonesia Team.
Dita has first hand experience on the listening end of the interpreted talks. She said, “I know how it has influenced me back home in Indonesia when I would listen to the interpreter and speakers and gained that love for General Conference and know that the speakers are talking, God is talking through the speakers to me.”
Now Dita is translating for her people, just like others did for her when she was young.
Osmani explains that having Native Interpreters is the first choice for each of the Country Teams. He said, “The accent is important and the delivery is important.”
While the goal is to have native team members, every member of each team isn’t always from the country they interpret for. Some have served an LDS mission in the respective countries. No matter what each person’s background is, the standards to be on the Interpretation Team are high and training throughout the year rigorous. The work is done to ensure the delivery from the Interpreter portrays the message of the speaker in the time allotted.
Osmani said, “There is a beginning there is an end. We have to stay within those 15 minutes or 11 minutes and that’s where we do training for our interpreters to learn to do that.”
This is an important task to share the words of General Conference to people around the world.
Dita said, “The message and the Gospel is for everyone no matter where you are from or what language you are speaking we are all learning the same thing.”
The same thing, but in 94 different languages.