Remote Simultaneous Interpreting


Since remote work has become more and more popular in the last few years, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the ‘work-from-home’ phenomenon is slowly making its way through the translation and interpretation industry, especially since it can benefit both the client and the interpreter. Remote simultaneous interpreting is a perfect example of that.

What is Remote Simultaneous Interpreting?

Simultaneous interpretation (SI) is the process of interpreting speech from one language to another while it is still in progress. SI is an exercise in speed, as the interpreter needs to think in two languages quickly. While it might be easy when it comes to simple topics, the subjects discussed often involve business, medicine, or technology – areas that have a lot of specialized terminologies. Traditionally, the speakers, the interpreters and the audience are all present in the same location.

RSI, which stands for remote simultaneous interpreting, is basically the same thing – the only difference is that the interpreter isn’t required to be at the location where their services are needed. Instead, they are in their homes or in their offices.

How does Remote Simultaneous Interpreting work?

RSI starts with the speaker. When giving a presentation or a speech, the presenter speaks in one language. Their image and voice are live-streamed to the remote interpreter – usually through a web browser, either on a laptop or on a desktop computer.

An interpreter watches and listens to the speaker on their device. Using high-quality equipment, such as headphones and a microphone, they translate the presenter’s speech into another language, as that speech is still in progress. The virtual interpretation wouldn’t be possible without a cloud-based RSI platform, where the interpreter’s speech is transmitted. Just like on-site simultaneous interpretation, interpreters doing remote simultaneous interpretation also work in pairs, taking turns every 20-25 minutes to ensure the highest quality of interpretation.

Members of the audience who don’t speak the same language as the presenter can log into a special RSI platform to hear the presentation in the language of their choice. This can be done either through a computer or a mobile device. When using the latter, the attendees can install a simultaneous interpretation app to make the whole process easier.

This technology not only allows the interpreter to connect remotely, but it also allows for part or all of the audience to participate in the meeting from their home or office as well. There are some meetings where the speaker, the interpreters and the audience are all connected virtually. None of them are in the same place. This truly allows for the maximum level of flexibility and participation for these types of meetings or events.

Why should I use Remote Simultaneous Interpreting?

While there are several reasons why you might decide to use remote simultaneous interpreting, here are just a few preddominant ones:

More Flexibility

Meetings or press conferences are often arranged at short notice. With RSI, you don’t need to worry about the attendee’s inability to understand due to the language barrier. You will be able to offer them multiple languages, no matter where or when the event is being hosted, either through traditional interpretation wireless receivers or through the attendee’s smart devices.

Bigger Potential Interpreter Pool

With no flight or accommodation arrangement required, organizers of the event can focus on things that matter most – choosing the most qualified interpreter for their event.

More Floor Space

When you are organizing an event on which you will have interpretation, you need to provide the interpreter with a soundproof booth, which takes up some of the floor space; with RSI, there’s no need for that, which means that you can use that space, for example, to place more chairs, and invite more people to the event if your meeting is being held in a small meeting room..

Less Equipment Needed

RSI minimizes the equipment needed to have interpretation available.Instead of sound-proof booths, you only need to worry about laptops, internet connection, and video equipment (if your event didn’t already include it) . Likewise, each attendee can bring their own device to listen to the language of their choice, or select the language of their choice in the device they are using to listen to the event

More Audience

RSI opens up your event to the opportunity of having many people attend remotely, from the comfort of their own location, even from other countries, while being able to fully participate in their own language. This can be very attractive to individuals that wouldn’t have attended and participated in the past.

Environmentally Friendly

Remote interpreters don’t need to travel long distances by car or by plane to provide their services, which reduces their carbon footprint. Likewise, your meetings can be attended by participants right from their home or office, further reducing the carbon footprint of your event.RSI opens up your event to the opportunity of having many people attend remotely, from the comfort of their own location, even from other countries, while being able to fully participate in their own language. This can be very attractive to individuals that wouldn’t have attended and participated in the past.

Higher Versatility

Suppose you wanted to organize your event in a place that is not particularly easy to reach, but you didn’t because you couldn’t find an interpreter who was willing to travel there. In that case, you will probably be glad to hear that with RSI, this problem disappears. World-renowned interpreters can easily serve even hard-to-reach remote islands or resorts. Another thing worth mentioning is that if one of the event participants cannot be present, they can always attend remotely.

High Fidelity Sound

Even though RSI doesn’t use expensive equipment, it is capable of delivering full-bandwidth sound at low latency – as well as high-quality video and lip-sync.

It Won’t Increase Your Costs

While remote interpretation has its own unique costs, it is offset by not having to worry about things such as the interpreter’s travel or accommodation costs. Also, there is less of a need for you to rent all of the interpretation equipment, as it is often the case for standard simultaneous interpreting. Lastly, in all forms of simultaneous interpretation, including RSI, an experienced technician is always recommended.

When should I use Remote Simultaneous Interpreting?

Here are some of the situations in which RSI can be really useful:


Simultaneous Interpretation – the traditional version of RSI – has been used during conferences for a while now, especially in large corporations with multilingual clients, as not everyone can speak the same language. That’s why companies needed conference interpreters on-site to offer their services. RSI creates greater intimacy between the delegates and the speakers while saving money, time and improving accessibility.

Panel Discussions

Another one of the more traditional use-cases for SI – RSI will work just fine as well, allowing you not to have a limit when it comes to languages offered.

Online Meetings and Webinars

More and more companies decide to host online meetings instead of in-person ones, especially since the number of remote workers increases. A definite advantage of RSI is that many RSI platforms offer you not only standalone video conferences, but they also integrate with major video meeting platforms, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and so much more.


In order to properly enhance the knowledge you gain during a seminar, you need to have a pretty good understanding of the presenter’s language – especially if what is being discussed includes technical topics. By incorporating a person offering remote interpreting from home, you are ensuring that the participants of your seminar have the correct understanding of the topic.

Small Meetings

RSI can be extremely helpful in global companies not only during conferences but also small meetings with regional teams, as they will be able to express themselves better and with more confidence in their mother tongue than in another language they might not know that well.

Since remote simultaneous interpreting is quite a new thing, we understand that some things might still be unclear. So, if you have any questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to send us a message – one of our experts will get back to you as soon as they can.