Simultaneous interpreting is one of two popular types of interpretation methods currently in use today (the second being consecutive interpretation). Like the name suggests, it involves the concurrent translation of the words being spoken by another individual. This method of interpretation is common used in during seminars, international conferences or business meetings involving individuals from varying nationalities.  Simultaneous interpreters are regularly employed by organizations such as the United Nations during meetings, conferences and debates.

To provide seamless communication, interpretation equipments need to be used. The choice of equipments ranges from older options to more advanced solutions that offer wireless connectivity between all the members involved. Seeing as the cost of these equipments is often too high for consideration in irregular use, most companies and organizers rely on the services of interpreting agencies.


Many people believe that simultaneous interpretation involves the direct (verbatim) translation of sentences. This isn’t true. What is however true is that interpreters are expected to convey the message of the speaker as accurately as possible.  If this sounds like a challenging task, it is because it is. In order to maintain the smooth flow of an interpreted conversation, will need to remain focused. Since the original speaker does not pause during his speech, simultaneous interpreters are expected to learn how to listen, interpret and translate (while still listening) all at once.

A good professional is able to accurately convey the meaning behind the statement of the speaker in the interpreted tongue. This includes capturing the nuance, inflections and emotions of the speaker involved. Given the mental challenge required, it usually preferable to enlist the services of more than one interpreter during lengthened sessions. Interpreters can then be alternated at half hour intervals to ensure that they do not become exhausted.

While there is no internationally accepted standard for simultaneous interpreters, many of the top level agencies that offer simultaneous interpretations usually employ professionals who possess some type of training in the field of linguistics and interpretations. Membership in recognized associations such as the American Association of Language Specialists is also a welcomed qualification. Interpreters who have had some cultural or social experience with a language are also popular because of their familiarity with the slangs, phrases and idioms of the language.

Just as important as the choice of interpreters is the issue of support professionals. Because equipments are required for simultaneous interpretations, most agencies also provide technicians and experts who handle their installation and management during the period of its use. Examples of these include the installation of microphones, the wiring of video feeds and the provision of the headphones that will be used by the audience. In order to benefit from first rate support service, people will need to search for agencies that offer such guarantees in service.

Charlene Lacandazo works for Rosetta Translation London, a leading interpreting agency in New York covering the whole spectrum of language services, and excelling in particular in simultaneous interpreting.