You may have seen from the news that interpreters sit in the booth in a United Nations conference room and officials wear headphone while the speaker on the stage delivering speech. With the global expansion comes the need for multilingual communication, interpreting becomes vital for effective conversations.
Types of interpreting services
In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter processes and memorises the words that the source-language speaker is saying, while simultaneously translating the sentence into the target language the speaker said 5 to 10 seconds ago. Requiring deep concentration from the interpreters, simultaneous interpreters often work in pairs so they can take a mental and vocal rest on rotation. Each interpreter sitting in a sound-proof booth wears a headset set to a unique channel to monitor the floor language and speak simultaneously via the microphone. Audience can hear the translated message by putting on a headphone and selecting the appropriate channel. Whispered simultaneous interpreting is an alternative form of simultaneous interpretation. Interpreter whispers into the ear of the delegate, rather than working from a booth via earphones.
Simultaneous interpreting is primarily used in formal or large group setting, such as big seminars, conferences or trade shows. It is an ideal solution for situation like one person speaking in front of a large group of audiences, rather than in conversational environments.
Consecutive interpreters listen to what the speaker is saying and take notes of the information, and then convey the message into the target language after the speaker has paused. The speaker usually stops at the end of a few sentences or a short paragraph, ensuring there is no cognitive overload. The interpreter normally stands or sits close to the speaker, and speaks into a microphone for the translation or whispers into the listener’s ear.
Consecutive interpreting works best for small groups or one-on-one conversations such as small business meetings or court proceedings. As it is a talk and pause method, consecutive interpretation takes longer than simultaneous interpreting.
Remote interpreting services include over-the-phone interpreting (OPI), video remote interpreting (VRI) and remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI). OPI uses the consecutive mode of interpreting and takes the form of a three-way telephone conference call between two participants who speak different languages, and a third-party interpreter. VRI provides spoken language or sign language interpreting services, utilising devices such as web cameras and videophones. In an RSI setup, the interpreters are located offsite and join the event virtually via an RSI platform to deliver simultaneously interpretation.
Remote interpreting is a perfect solution for virtual events and web meetings, with demand surging during the pandemic.
Elite Asia’s FUZON platform supports both RSI and OPI, helping companies communicate with partners speaking different languages despite geographical distances. The platform with strong technical support allows user to hold virtual events such as webinars, online trainings and online meetings with up to 250 participants from all around the world.
Understand your need
Determining your service requirements will help you in deciding which type of interpreter you need for the event.
- Number of languages involved: multiple languages or two languages
- Audience size: large conference with over 100 participates or one-on-one meeting
- Nature of the event: face-to-face or virtual event
Once the type of interpreting service is confirmed, you should provide the language service provider with the information of the event. Based on the nature of the event and the business industry, the company can assign a subject matter expert whose area of expertise meets your requirement.
To help interpreters prepare and pursue the best outcome, it is also important to share all existing information with them such as date and location, meeting agenda, participants’ background, presentation slides, links to reference websites and any last-minute changes.
Simultaneous interpreting requires the use of different equipment such as interpreting booths, SI control panels, microphones, headsets; while remote interpretation platform or software should be registered or installed before use. It is recommended to contact your language service provider to schedule a testing and installation in advance and get familiar with the system before the event.