Simultaneous Interpretation

Conference Interpretation Services

Simultaneous Interpretation Service

In (extempore) Simultaneous Interpretation (abbreviated SI), the Simultaneous Interpreter renders the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she 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 clearly seeing and hearing the source-language speaker via earphones. The 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 in close proximity.

Often Simultaneous Interpreters are incorrectly labelled 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 to 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. 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.

Interpretation Standard Infographic

Full Infographic on slideshare: Globibo ISO 18841 Interpretation Standard Infographic

Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment & Systems

Simultaneous Interpreting requires in most cases the setup of dedicated technical 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 :

For more information on our Interpretation Equipment, please check out the following page : Interpretation Equipment

Simultaneous Interpretation Standards

While there are plenty 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 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 focusses exclusively on the mobile booth (a separate standard structures details for in-built booth). Several associations also summarize best practices and code of ethics for Interpreters, but those guideline often risk to swing more towards competition dilution than Customer Quality Assurance.

As Globibo, we have developed an own 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 from linguists working in conferences.

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 on 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 driver 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.

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 really 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 competences 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 Interpreting 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 program:

  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 :

Simultaneous Interpretation FAQ

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 noise-protected environment

4. 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.

5. 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.

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ISO 27001
ISO 27001 - Information Security Management System - Certificate #: CCL/ISMS/70818/GIPL
ISO 9001
ISO 9001 - Quality Management System - Certificate #: CCL/QMS/70818/GIPL
ISO 17100
ISO 17100 - Quality Translation Services Management System - Certificate #: CCL/QMS/70821/GIPL
ISO 20121
ISO 20121 - Event Sustainability Management System - Certificate #: CCL/QMS/70822/GIP



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