Simultaneous Interpretation Services | Globibo (2023)

Simultaneous Interpretation Service

In (extempore) Simultaneous Interpretation (abbreviated SI), the Simultaneous Interpreter renders the message in the target language as quickly as s/he can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks.

Simultaneous Interpreters mostly sit in a sound-proof booth, speaking into a microphone, while seeing and hearing the source-language speaker via earphones. Simultaneous Interpreting is rendered to the target-language listeners via their earphones. Moreover, Simultaneous Interpretation is the common mode used by sign language interpreters, although the person using the source language, the Simultaneous interpreter and the target language recipient (since either the hearing person or the deaf person may be delivering the message) must necessarily be nearby.

Often Simultaneous Interpreters are incorrectly labeled as 'simultaneous translation' and as 'simultaneous translator', not differentiating the definite distinction between interpretation and translation. On other hand, some linguists use the term Conference Interpretation instead of Simultaneous Interpretation.

For third-party information on Simultaneous Interpretation, please check out: Wikipedia

Definition: Simultaneous vs Consecutive Interpretation

Simultaneous Interpretation is distinctly different from Consecutive Interpretation. In Consecutive Interpreting, in which the speaker stops usually at the end of every “paragraph” or complete thought, for the interpreter to step in to render what was said into the target language. In Simultaneous Interpretation, there are no such breaks. A key skill involved in consecutive interpreting is note-taking since few people can memorize a full paragraph in one hearing without loss of detail. The interpreter’s notes are very different from those of, say, a stenographer, because writing down words in the source language makes the interpreter’s job harder when he has to translate the speech into the target language.

Simultaneous Interpretation Services | Globibo (1)

Full Infographic on slideshare: Globibo ISO 18841 Interpretation Standard Infographic

Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment & Systems

Simultaneous Interpreting requires in most cases the setup of professional interpretation equipment. Globibo has a wide range of different Interpretation Systems to accommodate for different needs of Clients and Interpreters. The key components of an Interpretation System are:

  • Simultaneous Interpretation Booth: The soundproof for the Interpreter to work without disturbing participants and being disturbed.
  • Simultaneous Interpretation Console : The audio system to hear the speaker as well as microphone infrastructure to render the interpretation.
  • Simultaneous Interpretation Receivers : The wireless device for delegates to hear the interpretation wherever they are in the facilities.
  • Simultaneous Interpretation Transmitters : The infrastructure to emit the interpretation signal to the receivers.

For more information about our Interpretation Equipment, please check out the following Web pages: Interpretation Equipment

Simultaneous Interpretation Standards

While there are plenty of established Translation Standards like ISO 17100 / 11669 or regional and local standards, the Interpretation Standards ISO 18841 is rather new. ISO 18841 describes basic principles, working conditions, and procedures as well as general qualification criteria for Interpretation Projects. In several sections, ISO18841 relates to other standards of government language services. For an infographic on ISO 18841, please check out: Globibo ISO 18841 Interpretation Standard Infographic.
Related standards like ISO 20108 and 20109 focus mainly on the technical equipment and ergonomics towards the Simultaneous Interpreter. ISO 4043 focuses exclusively on the mobile booth (a separate standard structures details for an in-built booth). Several associations also summarize best practices and codes of ethics for Interpreters, but those guidelines often risk swinging more towards competition dilution than Customer Quality Assurance.

At Globibo, we have developed our standard on how to evaluate linguists. Considering our large scale facilities and technical equipment we provide training opportunities for Simultaneous Interpreters as well as aspiring Consecutive Interpreters. Together with educational institutes, we try to improve the skill-set of linguists working in conferences.

To find out why you should hire a quality simultaneous interpretation service for global seminars, read our blog ‘Why It Is Important To Hire A Good Simultaneous Interpretation Company For International Seminars?’

Interpreter Qualification

Simultaneous Interpreters are a very dedicated profession, with thorough qualifications and certifications. Interpreters do not just need linguist talent, but also very specific training on technologies and technical equipment. Beyond the language combination and direction, special attention is given to the specific subject matter of the conference/meeting and the corresponding background of the linguist. Industry- and domain knowledge appear to be one of the key drivers of project excellence.

Based on international standards, guidelines for associations, and policies from different ministries, we have defined a qualification standard and process to select the right linguists for specific projects. With global delivery centers around the world, we have access to a larger pool of linguists and can select balancing talent and cost.

For a clearer understanding of the differences between simultaneous and Consecutive interpretation, check out the blog ‘Simultaneous vs. Consecutive Interpretation Services’

Skills of Simultaneous Interpreters

Professor Tsuruta summarizes the most important tips to adopt while working as a simultaneous interpreter. She states that there are 11 qualities that one must possess to succeed in the career.

  1. Fluency of Delivery
  2. Logical Cohesion
  3. Correct Terminology
  4. Pleasant Voice
  5. Correct Grammar
  6. Synchronicity
  7. Consistency
  8. Appropriate Style
  9. Live Intonation
  10. Completeness
  11. Native Accent

You can see the summary of Professor Tsuruta's research in the following video: A Formula for Success in Simultaneous Interpreting. The Interpreting competencies summarized in ISO 18841 are very generic and just useful as a general/high-level overview.

Simultaneous Interpretation & Conference Interpretation Booths

Different projects have different requirements in regards to the Interpretation Booth. Over the years we have collected a wealth of experience in regards to the planning, design, execution, and monitoring of the setup of small to large-scale booth infrastructures. In this setup, we understand the balance between Interpreters comfort, security, and quality level with aesthetic and design considerations.

For more information, please check out the information about Mobile Simultaneous Interpretation Booth

Simultaneous Interpreter Education

Interested in becoming a Simultaneous Interpreter or improving your skills? Check out our Simultaneous Interpretation Development Program. We use our in-house facilities to provide learning opportunities for talented linguists to experience the latest equipment and test their skills.

There are three types of Globibo Simultaneous Interpretation Development programs:

  1. Half-Day Program: In this program, there will be 1 session of 4 hours.
  2. 1-Day Program: In this program, there will be 1 session of 8 hours
  3. 1-Month: In this program, there will be 4 sessions of 4 hours

More information: Simultaneous Interpretation Development Program

Other Language Interpretation Approaches

To get more information about other Interpretation approaches, please check out the following links :

  • Consecutive Interpretation
  • Simultaneous Interpretation / Conference Interpretation
  • Liason Interpretation
  • Whispered Interpretation

Simultaneous Interpretation Case Studies

Simultaneous Interpretation and Conference Interpretation Booth for Data Analytics Conference

Simultaneous Interpretation Services | Globibo (2)

Simultaneous Interpretation Case Studies

Simultaneous Interpretation in Singapore in Huone Theatre

Simultaneous Interpretation Services | Globibo (3)

Simultaneous Interpretation FAQ

1. What skills should I look for in a Simultaneous Interpreter?

A simultaneous interpreter must have certain skills that make them good for this job. Let us tell you about some of these skills - fluency of delivery, logical cohesion, consistency, live intonation, and correct terminology, To find out what other remaining skills we have to offer, check out our simultaneous interpretation page.

2. Do you have all the important Simultaneous Interpretation equipment?

We understand that simultaneous interpreting requires professional interpretation equipment. This is why we have a wide variety of interpretation systems for our clients. Globibo has a simultaneous interpretation booth, interpretation console, interpretation receivers, and simultaneous interpretation transmitters.

3. What’s the difference between simultaneous and consecutive interpretations?

In your consecutive interpretation, the speaker waits for the interpreter to render everything said after each paragraph to the desired language. Whereas, in your simultaneous interpretation there are no breaks at all. The speaking and rendering happen “simultaneously” in this interpretation type.

4. How is simultaneous interpretation done?

In Simultaneous interpretation, the Interpreter listens to the message of the speaker and at the same time translates it to another language for other listeners.

5. What is the ISO standard definition of Interpretation?

The ISO standard defines it as the process of rendering a spoken or signed message into another spoken or signed language, preserving the register and meaning of the source language.

6. What equipment is used in Simultaneous Interpretation?

Simultaneous Interpretation requires the following equipment:

a) Microphones and Headsets

b) Physical or software-based Transmitter, Receivers

c) Simultaneous Interpretation Booths or a noise-protected environment

7. What is an interpreter console?

The Interpreter Console is the system used by Interpreters to listen to one or different audio language inputs and speak into a microphone. This microphone is connected to control units and transmitters to transmit the interpretation to individuals with interpretation receivers.

8. Do we need an Interpreter console for Simultaneous Interpretation?

An interpreter console is not compulsory but used to improve the process. Interpreter consoles have different functions to improve the efficiency and comfort of the interpreter, like choosing the input channel, muting the transmission, or adjusting audio volume.

9. What are the advantages of Simultaneous Interpretation?

One advantage is that it allows the speaker to deliver their speech naturally, without having to stop and start again while the interpreter catches up.
Another advantage is that the audience will be able to see the speaker’s gestures and other non-verbal cues, with very little delay of probably just a few seconds. This benefits the speaker and the audience in terms of impact and effectiveness of delivery.
The third advantage is that Simultaneous Interpretation can be used to deliver messages where speed is important, especially in emergency situations, for e.g. reporting in war zone areas, during live television broadcasts, in large global conferences like the Olympics, etc. where several languages may be used.

10. When is Simultaneous Interpretation not ideal?

This method is useful for large events, where conversing is not needed. It is not ideal for situations where there are two-way conversations between the participants, e.g. during training sessions or interviews.

11. Is Simultaneous Interpretation costly?

Yes, it can be, as this method involves hiring interpreters with specialized skills, audio technicians, specific equipment, etc. However, if you do not cater for Simultaneous Interpretation for the large conference you are conducting, delegates will not be able to understand each other, and your conference can become a failure. Here at Globibo, we understand your needs, and you can be assured of quality at an affordable price.

12. Is simultaneous interpretation necessary for an office meeting?

If you are holding your company's AGM and you expect shareholders who are not fluent in English to attend the meeting, you need to hire simultaneous interpreters.

13. What is the essential equipment in simultaneous interpretation?

In simultaneous interpretation, the console is the most crucial equipment. It is here that the interpreter sits and reads and hears the discussions to be translated.

14. What can you expect from Globibo simultaneous interpretation?

At Globibo, we have the best simultaneous interpreters, and we offer setup based on your requirement. We will set up the booth and assign technicians depending upon the size of the event.

15. Can I get training in simultaneous interpretation from Globibo?

Yes, we offer Simultaneous Interpreter Education. Depending on your skill set, you can choose a half-a-day, one-day or a one month program with us and become a skilled simultaneous interpreter.


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