Have you ever heard the term Simultaneous Interpretation? It’s a translation method in which the interpreter converts what the foreign speaker says in real-time, without any disturbance of pace of the original speech. 

Simultaneous interpreting is commonly used in very formal surroundings such as courtrooms, business meetings, or during the United Nations or European Union proceedings.

How Simultaneous Interpretation Works

How To Perform Simultaneous Interpretation?

Simultaneous interpretation is usually performed by experts educated in the source and target languages, to neatly but efficiently translate spoken words to the audience. In other words, the interpreter verbally translates the speech of a speaker in real-time. 

Let’s imagine the UN proceedings. During all the important speeches, interpreters translate what is being said into a number of languages so that all the members can correctly understand the meaning of the speech in their mother tongue and avoid misunderstandings. 

As translating a language in real-time can be exhausting, many interpreters are involved in just one sitting. While the speech is being translated, the audience receives the broadcast through headphones provided by the event organizers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, interpreters had to switch their work environment and started working remotely. The only difference here is that all the translations are being performed from either their offices or homes.

Even though technology might positively influence the process of language translation, there is no software on the market, which could possibly replace the job of language interpreters. To learn more facts about this interesting job position, you should read more about simultaneous translation.

Why is Simultaneous Interpreting Important?

The career of simultaneous interpreters means something more than just translating the speeches live from one language to another. Interpreters are the voices of international meetings who successfully break language barriers bringing people closer to each other. Delegates can use their mother tongue during crucial debates and speeches to truly express their beliefs. 

What’s also worth mentioning is that simultaneous interpreting happens in real-time without disturbing the flow of delivery. In that way, translated speech is interpreted more accurately because the interpreter doesn’t have to rely on their notes or memory, which ensures that the audience receives a proper translation.

What Is the Difference between Consecutive and Simultaneous Interpretation? 

The main difference between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation is the time of translation. Consecutive interpretation happens right after the speaker stops talking, and simultaneous interpretation occurs during the speech. Consecutive interpretation relies on notes taken during the speech and memorization – the interpreter translates the key points of the speech. 

Which translation technique is better?

Generally, simultaneous interpreting is thought to be more accurate as the interpreter is less likely to forget the details mentioned during the speech. 

How Does the Simultaneous Interpretation System Work?

For starters, you need an interpreter – a person who will professionally or voluntarily translate your guests’ speeches in real-time. The interpreter needs a set of tools to be able to deliver the translation to the audience. The basic set consists of receivers, corresponding headphones used by the audience, a transmitter, and a microphone for the interpreter. 

Since, as we already mentioned a few times, the translation is performed in real-time, the interpreters are usually allowed to only have short breaks during their performance. It is also worth mentioning that they should be able to work under pressure as their work environment tends to be chaotic, which is why this job will not be for everyone.

A job of a simultaneous interpreter aims at making the listeners understand the speaker while the speech is being performed. The interpreter uses a microphone connected to a transmitter. This device sends a special signal to wireless receivers owned by the audience. In that way, everyone can listen to the interpretation in their mother tongue through the headphones.

What Are the Requirements of Simultaneous Interpreting During Conferences?

Hosting a conference with international guests might be challenging, especially if you don’t know their language, which you should look for reliable interpreters. This way, you will be able to provide your guests with the best translation services, making them more comfortable by giving them an option to perform their speech in their mother tongue or simply help them fully comprehend the lectures. 

When it comes to getting the right equipment, the agency will either provide you with professional booths and technical equipment or recommend a service provider they usually work with during conferences. In both cases, technical requirements need to be fulfilled in order to provide your guests with the best experiences. Make sure to locate the soundproof booths in the right place. The interpreter should be able to see the facial expressions of the speakers during the event.

The Bottom Line

Simultaneous interpretation is a crucial part of hosting successful conferences and summits. Thanks to interpreters, the process of communication becomes easier and more enjoyable as language barriers disappear. 

If you have some doubts or worries about whether this industry will continue to become relevant, you have nothing to worry about – it will surely continue to grow as despite the advancement it’s going through, the technology is unable to replace the job of a simultaneous interpreter fully. 

We hope that our article gave you a better understanding of how simultaneous translation works and shed some light on its importance in today’s business world. 

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