Simultaneous interpreting is one of the most complex forms of verbal translation. It requires specialist equipment to enable the simultaneous interpretation. The main difficulty with this type of interpreting is that the interpreter must decipher the information voiced by the speaker exceptionally quickly – usually, the time lapse between the speaker’s spoken words and the interpreter’s interpretation is just 2-3 seconds. Simultaneous interpreting is used for major international events such as conferences, presentations, seminars, etc. All events of this kind are strictly regulated. Simultaneous interpreting services save time – which helps to prevent listeners from getting tired. Simultaneous interpreting is often performed in several languages at the same time when a large team of interpreters are all working on the speaker’s address.
Simultaneous interpreting: what should you know?
Simultaneous interpreting is incredibly demanding work. It is tough to find a good interpreter who interprets simultaneously – only a very few interpreters, out of hundreds, can do this kind of work, and do it well. This work requires fast thinking, excellent knowledge of the language, extensive reading and steady nerves. Incorrect simultaneous interpretation can undermine the reputation of the speaker, the business, the success of the negotiations, and so on. It is said that such people are either born to be an interpreter of this kind or become one after a lengthy and demanding learning process. A well-prepared interpreter who can provide synchronised interpreting is the scarcest of specialists and commands great value.
As far as the advantages of simultaneous interpreting are concerned, it is worthwhile pointing out the following:
- The speaker’s speech flows without interruption – this helps the speaker to keep the audience’s attention, feel the mood and reaction of the audience.
- The duration of the event is almost halved compared to consecutive interpreting.
- It is convenient for the participants of the event – many participants don’t like it when, during consecutive interpreting, the speaker has to stop for the participants to hear what is being interpreted.
- This makes it possible to interpret the message into several languages simultaneously.
However, simultaneous interpreting also has certain negative aspects, for example:
- The cost of simultaneous interpreting is higher in comparison to consecutive interpreting. This is because simultaneous interpreting is done by a unique type of professional who experiences considerable stress levels whilst carrying out this work. In general, the salaries of specialists performing simultaneous interpreting are the highest in the field of translation. Also, it should not be forgotten that simultaneous interpreting requires the rental of specialist equipment.
- Usually it is not enough to have only one simultaneous interpreter, therefore, it is necessary to hire two or three interpreters who have extensive knowledge of the event’s subject matter. This is due to the fact that the interpreters experience tremendous nervous tension whilst doing this work and will need to be substituted periodically by another specialist with the same skills.
Simultaneous interpreting: how much does it cost?
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