Simultaneous interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting is a type of real-time interpreting which requires a particularly high level of language skills both in the source and target language. The interpreter usually translates in a soundproof booth with at least one other interpreter. They receive the text through a headset and translate the message into a microphone simultaneously. Target language listeners receive the translation via earphones. Simultaneous interpreters enable communication between a speaker and  delegates who do not share a common language.


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.

How to find the right simultaneous interpreter

Finding the right simultaneous interpreter is an important task as it has a significant impact  on the success of a conference. There are  a huge amount of  people offering simultaneous interpreting services  on the internet. There are also undoubtedly many interpreters out there with impressive interpreting  skills who have neither a college degree nor have completed other vocational training.

Nevertheless, we at lingoking think that there are other factors that are important for the profession ‘simultaneous interpreter’. Aside from  extraordinary language skills in the source and target language, and a third language, interpreters must have an in-depth knowledge in their area of expertise. Interpreting strategies and acquired simultaneous interpreting skills can make a huge difference between professional interpreters and bilingual amateurs. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information on simultaneous interpreting services, or interpreting services in general.

Send a non-binding enquiry

You may also find this interesting

Excellent quality

lingoking fulfills the international quality standards in translation services (ISO 17100) and is known from