Generally speaking, simultaneous interpretation is used in more formal situations where one person is speaking to a large audience needing to receive the message in a language other than that of the speaker. It is the most suitable way to interpret international congresses, diplomatic conferences, seminars and meetings with multiple languages requiring fluid and immediate communication as simultaneous interpretation reaches each participant instantly.
Simultaneous interpretation requires the use of special technical equipment comprising soundproofed booths, headsets, receivers, microphones, transmitters and audio mixers, as well as, on occasions, television monitors to facilitate a complete view of the room, especially if slides or videos are being projected.
In addition, simultaneous interpretation requires a high degree of training and experience as the job demands a great effort of continuous concentration and can only be carried out for intervals of no more than 40 minutes. For longer periods, two interpreters are normally used in each booth, alternating approximately every half hour to prevent the accumulation of tiredness and a drop in concentration. While one of the interpreters translates, the other assists by providing documentation, terminology and resolving any organizational need or notifying any problems that may arise.
In a multilingual conference, it may happen that the interpreter of a particular language may not understand the speaker’s language directly and so has to translate the message interpreted by another colleague. This way of working is known as relay interpreting.
Nonetheless, for a multilingual conference, course or meeting, it is always recommendable for all booths to interpret directly from the language on the floor (the speaker’s original language) and for each interpreter to work into his or her respective mother tongue. In this way, there is no loss of information, the time lag between the speech and its interpretation is minimal and the fluency of the interpreters’ expression and concepts is greater than that produced with the relay system.
For those situations where it is not feasible to install an interpretation booth, we can offer the possibility of providing interpretation with an Infoport system. Using this more flexible portable equipment, the interpreter, located close to the speaker, translates the speaker’s remarks, almost in a whisper, through a wireless microphone while members of the audience requiring translation wear a small headset to receive the interpretation.
Interpreting with an Infoport system ensure the maximum freedom of movement for both the listener and the interpreter to be able to move around the room or tour a site without any loss of sound, making this system highly recommended for guided tours or small meetings.