How does simultaneous interpretation work?
There are multiple types of interpretation, and simultaneous interpretation is one of them. Language professionals who specialize in interpretation listen to words spoken in a source language and then communicate them in a different one (target language).
Simultaneous interpretation happens at the same time the speaker is talking, whereas consecutive interpretation requires the speaker to stop and wait while the interpreter talks. For this reason, events and presentations that contain a lot of content prefer simultaneous interpretation since it takes less time overall than consecutive interpretation. It also allows the speaker to continue talking without long pauses, helping with the flow of the presentation. When audiences hear the meaning of a speaker’s words while watching them, less of the message gets lost since it can be easier to understand a speaker’s facial expressions, body language, and gestures while they hear the simultaneous interpretation.
Simultaneous interpretation for in-person events
During in-person events, interpretation equipment like soundproof booths and headsets make it easier for professionals to stay focused on the challenging task of listening and speaking at the same time. Organizers need to ensure that this specialized equipment meets a high standard.
For example, soundproof booths need good visibility, ventilation, lighting, etc. Events generally have a designated technician to troubleshoot equipment and operate the system. This setup gets even more complicated with additional languages. Since simultaneous interpretation takes significant effort and attention, interpreters switch off at intervals to give each other a break. This means that two interpreters (and associated equipment rentals) need to be hired for each additional language.
Audiences will listen to the interpretation through wireless headset receivers or, more recently, through headsets connected to smartphones.
What about simultaneous translation?
Hiring a simultaneous interpretation service can be costly, so if you’re considering adding multiple languages to your event, there are a few ways to organize your event more efficiently:
-If you prefer to cut down on the amount of effort spent on coordination, hire a service that includes equipment in the contract.
-Take advantage of technology: use subtitles for some languages and use interpreters for the main languages you want to offer.
-Use translations if you have a prepared script so that audiences can read along. At spf.io, we’ve worked with many clients and have found that audiences often prefer subtitles (written translation), so they can read translations while listening to the speaker.
Simultaneous interpretation for Zoom
While interpreting has historically been conducted in person, the popularity of online conference platforms like Zoom has highlighted the benefits of remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI). RSI has the advantage of reducing costs and complexity. Audiences can hear the language channel they want by clicking a link on a computer or phone, and they can listen using their own speakers or headsets from wherever they are. Additionally, RSI experts can work from various locations and don’t require travel or complicated onsite equipment setups.
Captions and simultaneous interpretation can work together to make your event accessible to a diversity of people. For example, translation for churches helps people feel more welcome when they can listen to the service in their native tongue. During conferences, audience members who are hard of hearing benefit from seeing subtitles. For any online event, organizers can reach more people by offering content in multiple languages.
What about simultaneous subtitles?
More and more people are starting to watch videos with the sound turned off, and audience members are used to seeing captions and subtitles for online content. Simultaneous subtitles and captions make events accessible to a larger audience and increase understanding and engagement.
At spf.io, we use AI-assisted captioning and translation to create affordable options for events that want to be accessible and multilingual. Spf.io gives organizations and companies access to advanced text-to-speech and machine translation technologies through a web-based platform. You can use spf.io with tools like Zoom, AirMeet, StreamYard, YouTube, and more.
Spf.io provides live automatic captioning in real time as well as script-based translations. If you don’t have a script, you can still use spf.io – our process gives you the option to use a human editor in the loop to increase translation accuracy. We’ve found that this greatly improves translation quality and gives clients more control over their subtitles.
Our clients are often excited to learn that they can hire someone to run spf.io for them, or they can have us train their in-house staff and volunteers to work with the AI. We also have customizable autoreplacement databases (ARDB), where organizers can teach spf.io to recognize specialized terminology, specific translations, and name spellings to improve the quality of captions and translations.
At spf.io, we help clients succeed with a language solution that works for their unique setup. If you’re looking for translation and accessibility tools for your event, talk to us about your interpreting and captioning needs, and see what we can do for you!