When do you need a simultaneous interpreter?
Interpreters are involved when communication between two parties who do not speak the same language is required. Simultaneous interpreters in particular are used in high level international meetings such as multinational business events, annual general meetings or international product launches. Conferences are a prime example of events where simultaneous interpreters are used.
What is particularly challenging about simultaneous interpreting?
Interpreters cannot start to translate until they understand the general meaning of the sentence. They may not be able to utter a single word until they have heard the whole sentence. However, speakers usually do not stop talking for the sake of simultaneous interpreters. Interpreters mentally translate into the target language while listening to and fully comprehending the next sentence.
Both mentally and physically, simultaneous interpreting is a difficult task. It requires a high degree of concentration to listen, comprehend and process. Therefore, interpreters work in teams of 2-3 with frequent change-outs in order to cope with the stress and to maintain a certain output.
The majority of interpreting sessions are performed in soundproof booths through an audio system. Events that require simultaneous interpreters need careful planning and specialist equipment like audio systems or soundproof booths. A clear view of the speaker and clear audio feed from the speaker is crucial for the success of the interpretation.