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What is simultaneous interpreting and how does it work?

Simultaneous interpreting is a type of speech translation that requires a lot of skill. It can be performed with or without the use of equipment, but never for too long as it is extremely tiring.

Simultaneous interpreting: what is it and when is it needed?

Simultaneous interpreters are tasked with providing a ‘live translation’ of whatever a speaker is saying in a different language; this allows listeners who do not understand the original language to follow what is being said.

Simultaneous translators are called interpreters and the name of their profession is interpretation.

Simultaneous interpreting can be performed for one person or groups of people. In the first case, it is performed without electronic equipment and is called chuchotage (or whispered interpreting). This French word describes the act of whispering into the ear of the recipient in a hushed voice.

At international conferences and other events involving lots of people, interpreters speak into a microphone connected to headsets worn by listeners requiring translation.

Simultaneous interpreting: what equipment do you need?

In most cases, simultaneous interpreting requires an interpreting booth, where (depending on the length of the speech) interpreters take it in turns to speak into microphones linked to radio-connected headphones.

If the interpreter is not in the same physical location as the speaker, they often provide simultaneous interpretation over the web using dedicated software. These software programmes transmit the voice of the person speaking to the interpreter, who conveys the meaning to whoever requires the translation.

The most popular simultaneous interpreting apps

The most popular simultaneous interpreting apps rely on speech recognition technology.

Two of the most famous are Google Translate and Microsoft Translate. These apps use translation memories and databases to translate (albeit literally) a variety of expressions into many different languages.

They are very useful for simultaneous interpretation into English, which is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. That being said, artificial intelligence has fewer points of reference to rely on for less commonly spoken languages, meaning that translations are more likely to be inaccurate, or even incorrect.

Who can I contact for professional simultaneous interpreting?

Eurotrad’s professional interpreters are the safest and most reliable bet for your interpreting needs.. This is particularly true when important events such as lectures or conferences are taking place, where you might need to depend on accurate simultaneous interpretation to approve trade agreements.

Professional interpreters specialise in different industries and can translate technical and specialist terms for a variety of different business sectors.

Get in touch to request a free quote. We are always happy to help if you have any questions

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