What is Simultaneous Interpreting?

What is Simultaneous Interpreting?

What is Simultaneous Interpreting?  A guide.

Simply put, simultaneous interpreting is the process of listening to, comprehending, and instantaneously translating a speaker’s statements into another language.

This method of interpreting is generally (but not exclusively) used in large-scale conferences and international meetings when two or more languages are spoken.


How simultaneous interpreting works

1- The speaker speaks the “floor language” into a microphone. The floor language can change throughout the event depending on what languages the speakers use.

2 – The floor language is broadcast directly to an interpreter who listens through a headset in a soundproof booth.

3 – The interpreter simultaneously speaks into a microphone in the “target language” (aka the foreign language) which is broadcast to delegates through wireless headsets. This allows for delegates to understand what is being said in real time, as though the presenter were speaking to them directly in their native language.


Advantages of Simultaneous Interpreting

As the name suggests, simultaneous interpreting happens in real-time. It provides a seamless experience for both the delegates and the speaker as there are no pauses needed for the interpreter.

Additionally, simultaneous interpreting can cater for multiple languages, giving delegates the choice to follow proceedings in their preferred language. Simultaneous interpreting isn’t just about providing a services to existing conference – it can open up whole new markets to conferences and, more importantly, attract new delegates and increase attendance.

Simultaneous Interpreting Equipment

Organising an event that requires simultaneous interpreting will call for a lot of equipment. You’ll need microphones, headsets, receivers and booths to name just a few.

Even seasoned event organisers can find it tricky to know exactly what interpreting equipment is needed. So, to help everyone out, we’ve put together a blog post about simultaneous interpreting equipment that covers everything you need to know.