I speak enough French and Spanish to edit and prompt comfortably in those languages, and can teleprompt others like Portuguese, German, and Italian at a professional level by simply listening in. I also do teleprompting for Mandarin, in Pinyin, which means the words are phonetically spelled with Roman characters.
However, today the client didn’t prepare for this. So, I loaded the Chinese characters into the teleprompter, and that part worked fine. (Thanks Apple!) But as you can imagine, I was faced with pages of these characters, not recognizing a single word.
It turns out, the trick to do teleprompting with Chinese characters was to focus intently and listen for punctuation, pauses and the beginning of sentences. (And I mean listen reeeeeal intently.) Surprisingly, it worked great!
With any non-English script, I always recommend a native speaker be there, in addition to the talent. This lets someone listen for the smoothness and any errors that the talent might not notice while presenting.
Update: months later, I ended up doing the same trick to do teleprompting in Arabic for a car commercial. Very fun!
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