The simple definition is that simultaneous conference interpretation happens when your primary speaker is speaking to a larger audience, usually using a microphone in order to be heard well, and your audience member’s may not speak the same language. In a case like this, you will need to provide interpretation so the audience can understand what the speaker is saying. But this interpretation needs to happen at the same time as the speaker so the audience can keep up with the speech.
It takes a professional training simultaneous interpreter to do this successfully. The interpreter will need to listen to the speaker’s language and mentally interpret it into the other language. Then they will have to verbally give the translation to the audience. It is a complex process where timing is very important.
When this is happening at a conference, it’s because conference attendees may be of another native language but the speaker could be a business leader or guest speaker who is important to the conference. Usually the interpreter will be located in the back or in another location that provides clear view of the speaker as well as any presentation materials. This allows the interpreter to get the full range of emotions and information that is being presented in order to translate properly.
In the event of a very long conference or long speaker, there may be several interpreters working together as a team and switching off every 20 minutes or so. This is important since it can be such a daunting task to get everything in the interpretation correct. In many conference setups, the interpreter will speak into their own microphone which then relays the translated messages into headphones worn by conference goers who have requested them due to language barriers.
For some events, there may even be different interpreters for various different languages, all happening at once while the main speaker is presenting in their native language.
There might even be sign language interpreters available. This is a very complex process and it’s very important that you have a professional interpretation service company to help. The translator will need to interpret and translate back in real-time, the message just as it was originally conveyed, but in a different language.
At Lighthouse Translations we do on-site meeting and conference interpretations, among other things. We have options in many areas, including Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, New York, Denver, New Orleans, Washington DC, San Juan, Chicago, the Caribbean and Latin America. Our work is methodical and we work with the upmost of professionalism. If you have questions about simultaneous conference interpretation or any other services that we can provide for you or your next event, please contact us today.