FAQ. Frequently asked questions about interpreting.

FAQ. Frequently asked questions about interpreting.


Our answers on the following interpretation topics:

Working for lingoking are only highly qualified interpreters who have completed training at a recognised university and who may be members of a translators' association. They also have several years of professional experience and are sworn in by the courts if required. Together with them, we have compiled the most important answers and questions.


General questions about our interpreting services

General questions about our translation services


General questions about our interpreting services:

Simultaneous interpreting

In simultaneous interpreting, what is said is interpreted almost simultaneously. "Simultaneous" here refers to performing two activities at the same time: listening to what is said in the source language and speaking what is said in the target language. The minimal time gap between what is said by the speaker and the interpretation is referred to in technical terminology as décalage (Fr.: displacement). Simultaneous interpreting is cognitively very demanding and requires maximum concentration even from experienced, professional interpreters. (For more information, see the answer to the next question "Why do I need two interpreters for simultaneous interpreting?")

Fields of application for simultaneous interpreters:

  • Multilingual events
  • Conferences
  • Conventions
  • Negotiations
  • Press conferences, etc.

The advantages of simultaneous interpreting:

* Time saving through simultaneous transmission of the spoken word
* Good conditions for listeners, as interpreting technology ensures that the speakers or participants are not disturbed by the interpreters
* Any number of listeners (for simultaneous listening) possible, as interpretation can take place via any number of headphones
* Possibility to transmit into several languages at the same time
* Maximum professionalism
* Livelier and more dynamic discussions possible
* Professional acoustic conditions for interpreters & listeners

The disadvantages of simultaneous interpreting:

  • Possibly higher financial expenditure due to the use of the required technology as well as two interpreters per language combination (for an assignment duration of 30 minutes or longer)
  • Technical expenditure for participant groups of more than three people
  • Fixed cabins are not suitable for all situations (e.g. factory tours)
  • Sufficient space for interpreting booths, which must offer a view of the event

Consecutive interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is the oldest type of interpreting in the history of interpreting. The main difference to simultaneous interpreting is the time-delayed interpretation of what is said. Using a special note-taking technique, the interpreter records passages of what is said during the lecture and then interprets the notes into the target language. Target-language consecutive interpretation is characterised by a tightening of the content and an exceptionally good structuring of the speech. This relieves the burden on the listeners and keeps the additional time spent on consecutive interpreting within reasonable limits.

Fields of application for consecutive interpreters:

  • Formal occasions, e.g. table speeches or receptions
  • High-level events in terms of protocol such as bilateral meetings of heads of state and government as well as leaders
  • Cultural events, e.g. author readings, film premieres
  • Training events

The advantages of consecutive interpreting:

  • The listeners or parties – e.g. in negotiations – have more time to let what is said sink in. This often allows the content to have a stronger impact on the audience.
  • No technical equipment is needed.
  • Low price (compared to simultaneous interpreting)

Disadvantages of consecutive interpreting:

Due to the time-delayed transmission, the duration of the event and the speeches will be extended.

The technique to be used for interpreting depends on the number of participants and the type of interpreting. Unlike simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting does not require the use of technical equipment.

In principle, there are three options for technical equipment for simultaneous interpreting:

Simultaneous interpreting in an interpreting booth (from approx. 15 participants): This involves installing one or more soundproof booths at the back of the event room, usually manned by two to three interpreters. Due to the high mental (concentration) and physical (voice) strain, simultaneous interpreters always work together in small teams and take turns at regular intervals, supporting each other in the event of any difficulties (e.g. an interpreter who is currently taking a pause can point out possible sound quality disturbances to the technicians). The interpreters listen to the speaker through headphones and interpret what is said into a microphone. This interpretation is then received by the audience through appropriate headphones. Interpreting booths must comply with certain standards in terms of soundproofing, size and ventilation (ISO 2603 for fixed booths, ISO 4043 for mobile booths). It should be noted that the booths must be positioned so that all interpreters have an unobstructed view of all projection screens and the speaker(s).

Whispered interpreting with a tour guide system (for approx. 3 to 15 participants): For events with a small number of participants and/or event conditions that do not allow the use of an interpreting booth — e.g. outdoors — simultaneous interpreting with a tour guide system (PFA) is recommended. Here, the interpreter stands in the immediate vicinity of the speaker and interprets what is said in a low tone into the microphone of the tour guide system, the signal of which is relayed to the headphones of the listeners by means of mobile transmission technology. This type of interpreting is ideal, for example, for smaller group tours of factories and the like.

Whispered interpreting without a tour guide system (for max. 2 to 3 participants): Without a tour guide system, whispered interpreting is suitable for a maximum of 2 to 3 participants for whom the simultaneous interpreting is provided. It should be noted that the audience must be seated or standing in close proximity to the interpreters.

Simultaneous interpreting is the supreme discipline among all types of interpreting. This is because simultaneous interpreting is cognitively the most demanding type of interpreting and requires the highest level of concentration. To be able to interpret at full capacity, no interpreter should therefore interpret for more than 30 minutes at a time. A maximum of 40 minutes of simultaneous interpreting is acceptable for a single interpreter from a professional point of view.

Consequently, if an interpreting assignment lasts longer than half an hour, it is essential to use two simultaneous interpreters who can alternate every 30 minutes. This method has proven itself worldwide and guarantees you, the client, the highest quality interpreting.

Small and medium-sized enterprises: Organising international correspondence, meetings and conferences is a piece of cake with the lingoking telephone interpreting service. Use our interpreting service for your foreign-language customer support, to plan business trips or for international cooperation and sales meetings.

Hospitals and doctors: Our interpreting service is available spontaneously and quickly and makes your work easier in medical emergencies. lingoking is also a great help during intake and discharge interviews as well as during ward rounds or medical consultations with patients speaking foreign languages.

Lawyers and the authorities: The lingoking telephone interpreting service is an uncomplicated alternative to conventional interpreting. Use lingoking, for example, for legal advice or court proceedings with foreign-language clients, when filling out applications or for youth welfare office meetings with foreign-language parents.

Private individuals and travellers Well on the way for sure: Use our telephone interpreting service for emergencies abroad, such as a car breakdown or medical emergency. Our service can also help you with travel planning.


General questions about interpreter rates & prices

General questions about our translation prices


General questions about interpreter rates

Depending on the duration of the assignment, the required language combination, the subject area and, if applicable, travel costs, we will be happy to provide you with an individual price quote. For the most frequently requested languages and cities, fixed hourly and daily rates serve as a basis. Here you can get an insight into our prices (plus VAT):

Yes and no. Since interpreting assignments – unlike the translation of documents – cannot be standardised, numerous factors flow into the price calculation. Of course, on the one hand the language combination, but on the other hand also the location, the urgency and the type of interpreting required. However, we always strive to offer you the best possible price, taking into account all quality requirements.

You can find an overview of the costs for the various interpreting services here.

General questions about payment:

The travel expenses for interpreters consist of the travel time allowance and the travel costs to and from the place of assignment. For interpreting projects in the common European languages in major cities, the travel costs usually amount to 30 € to 40 € plus VAT per interpreter/day. In more remote areas of operation, travel costs vary. lingoking has one of the largest networks of on-site interpreters available worldwide. This results in very short travel distances for most projects with on-site interpreters and thus very low travel costs.

Should the event last longer than agreed, the overtime will be invoiced separately. In principle, the lingoking overtime rule applies here: there is a charge of €90 per hour of overtime and per interpreter. Started hours are considered full hours.

At lingoking you can pay conveniently by PayPal, direct debit, credit card and invoice. This guarantees fast and secure processing and allows you to use the lingoking service at short notice and without complications. Please note that payment on invoice is currently only possible for business customers (stating a valid VAT identification number). The payment period is 14 days.


General questions about interpreting quality + matching

General questions about interpreting quality + matching


General questions about interpreter quality:

Our interpreters are highly qualified and have completed an education at an accredited university and/or are sworn. They have several years of professional experience and have signed the interpreter code of ethics and our confidentiality agreement.

The time it takes to process a request depends on the location and the desired language combination. Contact us here for a customised offer.

General questions about interpreting

The time it takes to process a request depends on the location and the desired language combination. We can usually provide an on-site interpreter for our clients within 48 hours.

Our interpreters can generally be booked at very short notice, within 48 hours in advance. For long-term projects, we recommend booking lingoking interpreters well in advance.

lingoking does everything in its power to keep the interpreter's travel and assignment costs as low as possible for its clients. The earlier you decide to hire a lingoking interpreter, the sooner our project management can start planning and, with this early planning, also keep the interpreter's travel and deployment costs low. In addition, a longer lead time increases the likelihood of being able to engage the truly best-qualified interpreter specifically for their assignment, because the best interpreters are often in high demand well in advance – especially when it comes to a special subject area or a rare language combination. For interpreting assignments with a common language combination, we recommend a lead time of one to ideally two weeks. For larger assignments with several language combinations and technical accessories – also abroad – a lead time of 4 to 6 weeks is recommended.

As our customer, you can look forward first and foremost to the comprehensive all-round service at lingoking. As an event organiser, you are relieved of the burden by the experienced project managers at lingoking and can use this extra time to take care of all the important aspects of your event that do not fall within the scope of interpreting.

Nevertheless, you can – in your own interest – make a valuable contribution to the successful outcome of the interpreting assignment with a few simple means by...

making the interpreter booking with sufficient lead time. submitting preparatory material for instructing the interpreters.

Because in interpreting too: only what has been understood can be correctly reproduced. That is why our interpreters are happy to familiarise themselves with the content of the event and the relevant specialist terminology in advance.

By providing preparatory documents for the interpreter(s) at an early stage, you as the client make a valuable contribution to the smooth running of the interpretation.

The preparation material includes all documents related to the interpreting assignment within the event. These include, for example:

  • agenda of the event
  • specific terminology (lists) of your company/your products
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • conference and press kits
  • press releases
  • other documents (e.g. contracts) referred to during the event
  • information on the infrastructure on site (access, parking permits, etc.)
  • requests regarding usage rights (e.g. audio and video recording)

The period depends on the desired language combination. We generally ask for a little lead time so that we can find the best interpreter for your conversation. We can provide you with a telephone interpreter for almost any language combination within two to three working days.


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