"We'd get a message that said we had four speakers today, two prayers and the choir will sing … and good luck," Alba recalled. "In those days we had Thursday sessions for the auxiliaries, conference on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a welfare session and then a special meeting for the patriarchs after general conference concluded."
As the church membership has expanded throughout the world, so too has the church's translation technology evolved to accommodate growing translation needs. This weekend's conference sessions will be interpreted into 93 different languages. But only 43 of those languages will be interpreted in the high-tech Conference Center facilities and broadcast to the world via satellite. For the rest:
31 languages will be interpreted in various locations around the world, transmitted back to the Conference Center where they are combined with video and broadcast via satellite with only a few seconds delay from the live proceedings
12 languages will be interpreted on location around the world and heard locally without transmission through the Conference Center
And seven languages will be interpreted in the Conference Center and distributed later on DVD
All together, the translation work requires about 800 people, Bateson said — 600 at the Conference Center and 200 at other locations around the world.
Another group of people are employed in making the translations available through audio and video broadcast sent out over the air, via satellite, on the internet and through recordings.
"Fifty years ago we were interpreting from dirt floors in the Tabernacle, and now we are interpreting from a single event for essentially anywhere in the world," said Brad Lindsay, manager of interpretation services. "This is a huge change, and technology makes it possible."
Just as the international expansion of the church makes it necessary.
181st Semiannual LDS General Conference
What: The five sessions of the 181st semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Where: The LDS Conference Center, 52 W. North Temple St., Salt Lake City
When: Three Saturday sessions — at 10 a.m, 2 p.m. and the 6 p.m. priesthood meeting for males 12 and older; two Sunday sessions — at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Who: A total of more than 100,000 Church members, friends and invited guest are expected to attend in Salt Lake City, with millions more watching and listening at various locations around the world.
Tickets: Required to enter the Conference Center. Attendees will pass through a security check, with cameras, recording devices, weapons, food, backpacks, packages and large bags not allowed.
Overflow: In the Tabernacle, the North Visitors' Center on Temple Square and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for all sessions. For the priesthood and Sunday sessions, additional seating is available in the Conference Center Theater. The Assembly Hall will provide overflow seating for Spanish speakers for all five sessions. Tickets are not required for admission to overflow facilities.
Traffic: Conference-goers are encouraged to carpool or use public transportation to relieve downtown traffic and parking congestion. UTA service options can be found at www.rideuta.com/.
Parking: Public parking is not available at the Conference Center parking lot. Limited public parking is available at Regent Street Parking (119 S. Regent Street (50 East)), the Energy Solutions Arena parking lot (70 N. 300 West) and Eagle Gate Terrace (145 E. Social Hall Ave. (50 South)). Disability parking is located at the West Temple lot just north of North Temple. Conference attendees should avoid parking in front of homes in downtown residential areas. Cars parked on neighborhood streets may be ticketed or towed at the owner's expense.
Broadcast plans: A detailed broadcast schedule is available at www.bonneville.info, with information regarding audio and video streaming via the Internet at www.lds.org/broadcast/. With the exception of the priesthood session, conference sessions will be broadcast on BYU Television and locally on KSL-TV. For additional information on broadcast availability and rebroadcasts visit www.byutv.org
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