Use of interpretation services for events, conventions, summits or conferences is on the rise in cities across the U.S.

In order to remain competitive in a continually globalizing economy, use of certified interpreters and translation equipment (aka, simultaneous interpreting equipment) has risen to an all-time high.

This is good news for Language Service Providers and the professional linguists they employ, but it can cause headaches for event coordinators and party planners who are unfamiliar with the types of interpretation services and the equipment required for apiece.

: Also called “Live Translation,” this style of translation requires intense concentration, years of experience and education, and an extremely quick mind.

Two interpreters are secluded in a sound-proof booth that has an audio feed distributed through an interpreter control unit.  Using microphone headsets, the interpreter must decipher words, meanings, inflection, from the source language to the target language in a split second.

Because of the intense nature of simultaneous interpretation, two interpreters are typically required for assignments over a hour in duration. Teams typically interpret in 20-30 minute increments before the other takes over.

Interpreters must be able to see the primary speaker, so the booth needs to be on risers in the back of the room or a video feed to a screen must be provided.

-Interpreter control unit

-Booths (one for each language required). If budget allows, use full-size booths to cut down on noise from the interpreters speaking that may annoy other audience members.

-Microphone headsets for each interpreter

-Transmitter (the interpreters translation is sent to audience members via FM or infrared signal)

-Receivers and headphones (each audience member requiring interpretation services is given a portable receiver comparable in size to large iPod or Mp3 player).

-Trained technician available to set up, strike, and troubleshoot any problems or issues that arise.

:  Is less intense than simultaneous and doesn’t require the same amount of equipment, but still necessitates a skilled linguist with excellent people skills and a firm grasp of confidentiality, boundaries, and professionalism.

Primarily used in courtroom interpreting, small business meetings, escorting visiting guests, medical or legal consultations and tour groups, consecutive interpreters are the link between two parties and are responsible to accurately convey meaning in potentially high-powered and critical discussions.

-Portable Transmitter that the speaker clips to his/her belt, allowing them to be mobile while broadcasting in a smaller radius.

-Receivers exactly the same as ones used with simultaneous interpretation. 

As in the case of medical interpretation visits or legal consultations, no equipment is necessary with the interpretation services.

However, interpreter professionalism and accurate delivery of a message is paramount in these settings, especially when an outcome can be altered by a simple mistake or editorial comment from the linguist.

For more information on simultaneous interpretation equipment, consecutive interpretation, linguists and rates consult a professional interpretation company that specializes in both language and equipment.

Gentry Reinhart is a writer/journalist living in Ogden, Utah.  In addition to contributing to newspapers and magazine’s he writes about the translation and interpretation services industry for U.S. Translation Company.

USTC offers certified interpreters and full-service conference interpretation service solutions for events throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America.

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