Several types of international congresses, meetings and conferences often require simultaneous interpreting. It is one of the most complex types of interpretation.
But what does it mean to say “simultaneous interpretation”?
In simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter has to translate the thoughts and words of the speaker while he or she is still speaking, with a delay of about 30 seconds after the speaker starts to talk to process what is being said.
The speaker of the floor language talks into a microphone; the speaker’s message is broadcast to the interpreter, who listens through headphones, usually in a soundproof booth at the back of the room, or sometimes in a separate room (at every conference, there are as many booths as there are language combinations: for example, if the speaker is addressing the conference in English and there are Italian, French and Russian delegates present, there will be three booths). In each booth, there’s room for two interpreters: in simultaneous interpretation, it is essential to have two interpreters to take turns in interpreting simultaneously, it is important that the interpreter works in full concentration and remains alert or the interpretation might suffer.
The interpreter listens and simultaneously speaks into a microphone, which is broadcast to the audience, who wear specialized headphones so they can hear the proceedings in their native language.
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