Simultaneous interpreting is generally used in more formal situations, where one person is speaking in front of a large audience of listeners who need to understand the message in a language other than the speaker’s own.
What is simultaneous interpreting?
Simultaneous interpreting takes place while the speaker is speaking and therefore the spoken message reaches each participant instantly.
The skilled task of simultaneous interpreting requires the use of specialised technical equipment such as soundproof booths, receivers, headsets, microphones, transmitters and mixing desks, and sometimes television monitors which allow a full view of the room, especially if slides are being projected.
In addition, a professional room technician must be provided to oversee the proper functioning of the equipment at all times, as well as a set-up and disassembly assistant. Occasionally, assistance personnel will also be needed to provide the headsets to the attendees. At Albor we can also provide you with this service.
Simultaneous interpreting allows interpretation into several languages at the same time. This type of interpreting is generally used in more formal situations, where one person is speaking in front of a large audience who need to understand the message in a language other than the speaker’s own, such as international congresses, diplomatic conferences, seminars and meetings.
Interpreters who use this technique have a high degree of training and considerable experience, as their work demands a great deal of sustained concentration. Therefore, this can only be carried out for periods of 40 minutes at the most. For longer periods, two interpreters usually work alongside one another, alternating every half hour or so to avoid a build-up of fatigue and diminishing concentration.
Occasionally, at a multilingual conference, the interpreter for a certain language may not understand the original speaker’s language directly and must therefore translate the message being conveyed by another interpreter.
However, we always recommend that when a conference, course or meeting is multilingual, all interpreting should be carried out directly from the original language (that of the speaker), with each interpreter working into his or her respective mother tongue. This ensures that no information is missed and that the waiting time between original speech and interpreted message in the listener’s language is minimal. Using the direct system, the interpreter’s fluency of expression and use of concepts is superior to that achieved when resorting to the relay system.
Simultaneous interpreting from a booth
Simultaneous interpreting booths may be permanent or mobile and must meet particular minimum requirements as regards adequate soundproofing and visibility to allow the interpreters to go about their work effectively. They must therefore have enough space and sufficient acoustic separation between the various languages being spoken simultaneously to avoid interference between the original speaker and the work of the interpreters or between the different languages being spoken by the interpreters themselves.
Simultaneous interpreting using Infoport
When use of an interpreting booth is not possible, we offer you the option of Infoport equipment. With this more adaptable system, the interpreter (who is situated at a short distance from the speaker) orally translates very softly into a wireless microphone.
The intended listeners are provided with a small receiver equipped with a portable headset which plays the interpreted message. Offering great flexibility, the system can be used both indoors and outdoors and is also portable.
Interpreting while using the Infoport solution gives both the listener and the interpreter complete freedom to move around the venue without any loss of sound.