In the world of international and multilingual events, it’s important to consider the access requirements to your audience for the speakers due to attend. For some, this means physical access needs. Depending on the type of event, it can also mean the language barrier. To tackle that language barrier, we have conference simultaneous interpreters.
Clarity at Your Conference
The need for a conference simultaneous interpreter becomes clear when we consider two things: whether the speakers communicate using the same language as your audience, and whether the audience all speak the same language. Either one presents the same issue to the running of your event – someone who paid to be there cannot understand what’s being said. In order to protect your reputation and ensure the maximum value possible out of your event, bringing conference simultaneous interpreters on board can reduce stress and help your event run smoothly.
How conference simultaneous interpreters work
Unlike one-to-one interpretation or whisper interpreters, conference simultaneous interpreters work in pairs to continually deliver to the audience. Typically, each interpreter will work for 20-30 minutes, with a short break between each allotted time slot at an event to recuperate. Anyone who has ever utilized an interpreter at a live event can understand the challenge presented in keeping focused and accurate for the entirety of a speech.
Working in teams, there is a greater chance that the interpreters can maintain accuracy without fear of burnout.
Alongside the interpreters, at a control booth, is a technician that ensures that the transmission of languages around a room remains consistent. Through the use of transmitters and receivers working across FM radio waves or infrared, depending on the environmental restrictions, the team enables the use of multiple channels of languages around a single room.
Will they distract the audience?
Thanks to developments in soundproofing, conference simultaneous interpreters can operate in a soundproof booth, or a table-top booth if space is limited. They hear everything the audience hears through their headphones, and deliver their interpretations through their microphones. No sound directly enters or leaves the booth, removing audible distractions from the equation.
How quickly do they work?
The typical time allowance between what the speaker has said in the source language and what the interpreter then says in the target language is approximately ten to fifteen seconds. The speaker doesn’t need to stop every time they say something to allow the interpreter to keep up or to communicate the message to the room – which would become messy if there was a need for more than one language to be interpreted at a time – meaning the audience experiences only a small lag.
What’s the point of having conference simultaneous interpreters?
As well as ensuring your event is open to all, particularly if a large audience is expected that doesn’t communicate in the same language as the speaker, the provision of a conference simultaneous interpreter eliminates the need for a whisper interpreter – someone who would sit or stand beside someone and interpret everything live from the middle of the audience.
As well as distracting the other audience members, this increases the likelihood that something the speaker says will be missed. This only becomes more troublesome as the number of individual interpreters increases.
In contrast to this, a pair of conference simultaneous interpreters in a booth can help keep the audience focused and attentive. They can listen to the interpreters while continuing to pay attention to the speaker, and everyone’s experience is identical as far as interpretation is concerned. It also reduces the need to provide space for every additional interpreter in the audience.
What are the pros and cons of having conference simultaneous interpreters?
We’ll start with the negative: it’s not an interactive experience. The audience can only hear the interpretation, but cannot question or respond with prior arrangement for a Q&A session. Interactivity at a conference can be facilitated through the use of an interpreter outside the booth, to deliver consecutive interpretation in these instances, depending on the requirements of the event. That said, while there are limitations on how much individuals can participate in an event from their seats, everyone has the same experience.
On the other hand, having a conference simultaneous interpreter on-site saves time, allowing for further speaking opportunities. Where an interactive experience would at least double the length of a speech if delivered from only one language to another, the use of professional interpreters means the process remains otherwise unmarred by the language barrier.
How can we help?
We pride ourselves on our ability to provide interpretation services in dozens of languages, both in-person and remotely. Check out our list of languages available from all over the world, or get in touch for a quote on interpretation services, and allow us to bring the world to your audience no matter their language requirements.