Planning an Event for All Audiences: Best Practices for Simultaneous Interpreting [Infographic]

Dynamic Language | November 3, 2017

When you are planning an event for a multilingual audience you must consider all parties involved. Everyone knows that clear communication is important to any successful business, however, this becomes increasingly complicated when more than one language is involved. Important points can be misunderstood or not heard at all. This is when simultaneous interpreting is valuable. Conference or simultaneous interpreting is when an interpreter communicates with a global audience via audio technology in real time with no delays. Check out the below infographic for an example of simultaneous interpreting in action.

Simultaneous Interpreting


Simultaneous interpreting is suitable for:

  • Symposiums
  • Conferences
  • Facility Tours
  • Client Engagements
  • High Attendance Meetings and Events
  • Workshops
  • Employee Training

Interpreting equipment is not “one-size-fits-all,” therefore, it is important to understand the scope of your event and attendees and have the help of experts to supply the correct equipment needed.

Equipment checklist:

  • Sound-proof booth
  • Portable transmitter (smaller events, tour guides, mobile interpreting)
  • Light-weight earphones, noise-canceling, high-quality headphones
  • Portable, wireless receivers available for mobile use.
  • On-site equipment technician

Best Practices

After you’ve determined if simultaneous interpreting is the right choice for your event, it is time to think about planning for your attendees and interpreter. Using the following best practices can ensure your event flows seamlessly for all attendees.

  1. Employ a Professional Interpreter

A professional interpreter will have the proper equipment needed for your unique event. Appropriate audio equipment can make or break the event for your attendees. Also, a professional interpreter with experience in the field being discussed is preferable. Note: a team of two simultaneous interpreters is required for events scheduled for 90 minutes or more.

2. Be Prepared

  • Prepare the Interpreter: In addition to familiarity with the subject matter, making sure the interpreter is prepared beforehand is critical. Before the event, provide any printed materials and presentations to the interpreter to acquaint themselves with and to review for errors. Also, be sure to provide the interpreter with a timeline of the event.
  • Prepare the Speaker: Inform the speaker that interpreters will be in use and remind them to speak and slower, fluid pace, when possible.

3. Take a Recess

Allow time for the interpreter to take breaks. Simultaneous Interpreting can be mentally taxing. To decrease the possibility of error, give the interpreter a break at least every hour.

4. Be Flexible

Despite your best efforts to prepare, last minute changes can still occur. Work with the interpreter and attendees to make sure everyone is on the same page and that all needs are being met.

Remember, the goal of simultaneous or conference interpreting should always be for the attendees to forget that they are listening to an interpreted audio. This is best accomplished when these best practices are followed.

Dynamic Language is an ISO-9001 certified language service provider with over 30 years of experience in the translation and localization industry. Contact us today to discuss your needs for simultaneous interpreting.

[Infographic Transcript]

Situation: The keynote speaker is delivering a speech to a multilingual group of conference attendees.

  • The speaker of the original language speaks into a microphone
  • The floor language is broadcast to the interpreter, who listens with headphones in a soundproof booth or sometimes a separate room.
  • The interpreter listens to the floor feed and simultaneous interprets the speech into a microphone, which is connected to the audience wirelessly, who wear headphones.

Result: All the attendees can listen without any interruptions or distractions!



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