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Conference Interpreting

How Conference Interpreting Works

conference interpretingConference interpreting, frequently referred to as simultaneous interpreting or UN-style interpreting, like normal interpreting transforms verbal communication from one language to another language, but it does this in real time or concurrent with the original speech.

Conference interpreting usually involves simultaneous interpreting equipment. An interpreter listens to a speaker through headphones using an isolated audio feed - often in a soundproof booth. The conference interpreter then verbally translates into the target language using a separate audio output linked by microphone to a transmitter and from there to conference receivers - either wired or wireless.

Most soundproof booths afford the conference interpreter the opportunity to observe the speaker either through a window or on a closed-circuit television monitor. The non-verbal communication of a speaker is a significant aid to conference interpreting, as is advance access to speeches and planned presentations.

soundproof boothMost people are familiar with conference interpreting from watching publicly televised meetings such as those conducted at the United Nations. But whether the conference interpreter uses fixed permanent installations or portable simultaneous interpreting equipment, as that supplied by AudioLinks, the principle is the same. Conference interpreting requires the interpreter translates the speaker’s last sentence while listening to the next one. Try this just repeating in English what is being said to you and you can understand some of the difficulty of conference interpreting. Moreover, it is impossible for the interpreter to even begin interpreting the sentence out loud until she or he understands what the sentence is about.

Conference interpreting requires an interpreter to receive either formal training and/or extensive practice. In addition, it is wise for a simultaneous conference interpreter to translate only into his or her native language. In professional conference interpreting that goes on for more than an hour, the interpreters usually work in pairs. Because conference interpreting is so relentlessly demanding and intense, each interpreter usually works for approximately half an hour before being relieved by his or her partner.

Contact Us for a quote on our conference interpreting service. If you have additional questions about conference interpreting, feel free to email us at AudioLinks or call 1-800-263-0112.

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