Simultaneous interpretation is one of the most common techniques used by interpreters who reproduce the speaker’s speech in the language of the listeners, usually in congresses, international events and conferences. This type of interpretation can be done either with electronic equipment or through chuchotage.

Modes

In the first method, the information is heard by the target audience the moment interpreters understand the message and articulates it in a given language through the microphone. The listeners, instead, use earphones to hear it clearly.

Another method is whispered interpreting, done without any equipment. Then, the interpreter sits next to the people who don’t know the source language and whispers the translation in their ears.

Interpreter booths

If the interpretation is made with the traditional equipment, the interpreter works in the so-called interpreter booth. It’s a sound-proof working environment where the interpreter can entirely focus and isn’t distracted by any external noise. It’s so essential taking into account the seriousness of their job and high stress that accompanies them while interpreting.

One little mistake may lead to catastrophic consequences. HSBC Bank found this to its cost when they had to pay for an extensive rebranding campaign to repair the damage connected with the mistranslation of the phrase “Assume Nothing”. It was translated in many countries as “Do Nothing”, which had to be explained and fixed. To find more about similar translation mistakes, which are unfortunately quite common, you can take a look at a given infographic, provided by Lighthouse: