16 February 2021

Features and benefits of simultaneous interpreting

Categoria: Linguistic Services

Among the various forms of interpreting, the best-known and most widely used is without a doubt simultaneous interpreting.

As its name suggests, in this methodology — often inaccurately referred to as simultaneous translation — interpreters translate the speaker’s words in real time, with a very slight time lag, known as “décalage”.

Simultaneous interpreting is particularly suited to all events involving an audience who come from different parts of the world and therefore speak different languages.

Simultaneous interpreting requires high-level specialization and technical skills, considerable commitment and total concentration.

Not just any bilingual person can do simultaneous translation. It requires special training in memory and notetaking, and the intense, total concentration it demands can make it extremely exhausting.

Consequently, as a rule, at least two interpreters are assigned to each language combination. They take turns in the booth at regular intervals to ensure a high standard of service throughout the event.

At face-to-face conferences or conventions, interpreters work in a soundproof booth from which they can see both the speaker and the audience.

Restrictive measures adopted due to the pandemic and the consequent migration of all events to online platforms has led to sharp growth in RSI (Remote Simultaneous Interpreting) services.

Although, in this case, interpreters are remotely connected from their home or wherever they choose to work, their work remains fundamentally the same. It is therefore still necessary for every event to use multiple interpreters to ensure adequate coverage and correct implementation of the service.

There are obvious advantages to this type of interpreting.

Simultaneous interpreting allows all participants to follow the event in real time with an immediate, high-quality translation of the speaker’s address.


The qualities of a good simultaneous interpreter


The key to high-quality interpreting is to hire a team of outstanding professional interpreters.

Simultaneous interpreting is a very demanding type of interpreting that requires the involvement of teams of simultaneous interpreters with impeccable professional training.

In addition to exceptional language skills and extensive professional experience in the booth, interpreters must also have good knowledge of the topic of the event, so that they can more easily follow the logic of the speakers’ statements and accurately translate them.

While the above are the basic characteristics required of anyone in this profession, the qualities that make a simultaneous interpreter an excellent professional also include excellent listening skills and a high level of concentration. These skills are essential for the interpreter to understand, analyze, rework and then quickly translate a message.

Interpreters must also have good short-term memory. Simultaneous interpreting is a sort of continuous speech flow in which listening and translating are synchronous and overlap each other. It is therefore fundamental for simultaneous interpreters to retain the current flow of speech in their memory while the translating what the speaker has just finished saying.

Last but not least, another skill that helps make a simultaneous interpreter an excellent professional is their ability to modulate their voice in a pleasant, natural way in order to hold the listener’s attention, making the listening experience as pleasant and interesting as possible.


The cost of hiring a simultaneous interpreter


The cost of a simultaneous interpreter varies depending on multiple factors, most notably:

  • The duration of the session;
  • The required language combination;
  • The topic covered;
  • Travel expenses for the interpreter to arrive at the event location;
  • Costs for renting and/or setting up facilities and equipment.

Naturally, the last cost factor — travel expenses — does not apply when simultaneous interpreting is provided online.

The same reasoning applies to the cost of renting and installing the technical equipment usually used in face-to-face conferences (booths, systems, headsets, etc.).


As mentioned earlier, while the pandemic’s dramatic acceleration of the drive towards digital interpreting services gives interpreters the opportunity to work from home or remotely, this does not make the work of simultaneous interpreters any less important.

To ensure high-quality simultaneous interpreting that allows all participants to clearly understand the topics presented by the speakers, you should always turn to experienced professionals — skilled simultaneous interpreters with the qualities described above.

The success of an event, conference or international convention is above all dependent on this crucial factor. This is why it is essential to hire experienced, competent experts who can propose and recommend the most appropriate solution for any event and occasion.


At Way2Global we offer traditional simultaneous interpretation for face-to-face events, with a full range of equipment rental and installation services covering every country in the world, as well as online interpreting services.

Our Project Managers specialized in interpreting services will assist you in choosing the most suitable solution for your needs.

Thanks to a team of native-language interpreters, trained to work on any digital platform, we can offer you superb service to enable you to internationalize your events.

We believe that translation in all its forms is a valuable tool that can connect and promote understanding among different people and cultures. This is our mission and this is why we love contributing to the success of any event that requires our services.


Do you need simultaneous interpreting or online interpreting services? Contact us!


Features and benefits of simultaneous interpreting


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