I speak enough French and Spanish to edit and prompt comfortably in those languages, and can prompt others like Portuguese, German, and Italian at a professional level by simply listening in. I also prompt Mandarin in Pinyin-which means the words are phonetically spelled with Roman characters.

However, today the client didn’t prepare for this. So, I quickly loaded the characters into the prompter, and that part worked fine. (Thanks Apple!) But as you can imagine, I was faced with pages of characters, not recognizing a single word.

It turns out, the trick with Chinese characters was to focus intently and listen for punctuation and pauses. (And I mean 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.