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November 17, 2020By legaltranslationsGeneral

What is Simultaneous Interpretation All About?

Simultaneous interpretation is most common at large conference venues and important ceremonies where the members of the audience typically wear specially designed listening devices so that they can hear the interpretation in their own language. Simultaneous interpretation assists conference delegates so that they can communicate in their own language and follow easily what each speaker is in real-time.

Simultaneous interpreting may also be referred to as conference interpreting and large international conferences and meetings at United Nations meetings often need the services of simultaneous interpreters.


    Key points about simultaneous interpreting

    • Simultaneous interpreting in a conference environment improves communication so that each delegate can deliver his/her message, while also listening to other contributions in his/her language.
    • The messages conveyed stay intact as the interpreting takes place in real-time. The simultaneous interpreting service does not translate everything that is said word for word, but the interpreter will paraphrase the message, so it is important that an interpreter is a subject matter specialist.
    • A conference will need to hire several simultaneous interpreters to enable full communication in the languages of the participants.
    • Simultaneous interpretation saves time because it takes place in real-time.
    • Simultaneous interpretation does deliver messages accurately because most simultaneous interpreters will have many years of experience in this area. They are also subject matter specialists.
    • The interpreter will relay the messages in the targeted language instantly following the message that has just been spoken.
    • It requires deep concentration by the interpreter. The interpreting is delivered into another language in seconds once the speaker has started speaking.
    • The interpreter listens carefully, converts the words, and delivers them instantly into the targeted language.
    • Simultaneous interpreters need excellent improvisation and speaking skills.
    • Because simultaneous interpreting is so demanding simultaneous interpreters commonly work in twos, this allows one interpreter to take a vocal and rest.

    Requirements for simultaneous interpreting at a conference

    When a large conference takes place or a multinational meeting that needs simultaneous interpreting, the conference when it is set up must include the needs of the team of interpreters in the layout of the venue. A checklist is important which includes details about the interpreters’ requirements so that each interpreter’s booth is placed in the correct place.

    Technical equipment required for simultaneous interpreting

    An interpreting service should be able to provide its own booths and the audio equipment required to ensure the smooth running of the interpreting role at the conference. The booths need to be soundproofed and each booth should be positioned in the correct place so that each interpreter can see all speakers. There should also be sufficient booths for all interpreting teams and all booths must have room for 2 to 3 interpreters. All booths must have a table for use by the interpreters. The table must be large enough, at least, to accommodate all the equipment, including paper & pens, reference books, conference guides, and water bottles.

    All booths must have windows that are clear on both sides and at the front. There should be no supports that may restrict the interpreters’ view. The interpreting groups must have a clear view of each other.

    The booths should be close enough to the podium or stage so that each interpreter can see clearly the projection screen or monitors so the presentations can be read easily. If there is a problem with distance all booths must-have television monitors. The interpreters should have an unobstructed view of the whole conference venue.

    The whole point of simultaneous interpreting is to help ensure that accurate information is conveyed to the viewer and listener in real-time. To reach its goal, the environment for the interpreters should be designed in such a way that audiences can benefit from the best and most accurate real-time experience.

    Last Updated On:  March 10, 2023 By legaltranslations General

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