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Simultaneous, booth

Simultaneous, infoport




(please see descriptions below)


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    Simultaneous, booth:     Simultaneous, infoport:      Consecutive:      Liaison:      Whispering:

Simultaneous interpreting takes place in a booth that has been sound-proofed in accordance with ISO standards and is equipped with a console which enables the interpreter to listen to the speaker though headphones and thus provide an immediate spoken translation using a microphone that transmits it to all those who do not know the speaker's language. The listeners are also equipped with headphones. It is important for the interpreter to be able to see the speaker from inside the booth. A normal day's work calls for two interpreters per booth, who take turns to interpret. Sessions with only one interpreter per booth should not last more than an hour or so. Simultaneous interpreting is the most common technique used at conferences in which a large number of people are taking part.

Simultaneous interpreting using an infoport or “bidule” (from the French word for widget) avoids booths by using a pocket radio transmitter tuned to headphones worn by the listeners. It is ideal for on-the-go activities such as study visits, company visits and inspections. It is an alternative to consecutive interpreting for small groups of people and for short speeches in particular circumstances.

Consecutive interpreting takes place in front of those involved. Speakers give their speeches in segments, which the interpreter then translates into the other language. It is usually used only in formal contexts like press conferences and short official announcements, when there is just one speech to interpret, given that it needs twice as much time as simultaneous interpreting.

Liaison interpreting ensures informal understanding among small groups of people without using the techniques of consecutive or simultaneous interpreting. The interpreter works mostly by memorising short passages and turning them into the target language in front of two or more people. It is suitable for informal contexts like work meetings, drawing up contracts, sports events and language assistance at trade fairs, factories, companies and museums.

Also know by the French word "chuchotage", this is a variant of simultaneous interpreting. The interpreter is next to the listeners, and whispers the translation to them. It has the benefit of not needing any equipment (unlike simultaneous interpreting), but it can only be used with a very small number of listeners (usually just one or two). Moreover, whispering strains the voice so much that interpreters can only do it for brief periods. It can be mixed with consecutive interpreting if the listeners want to say something themselves.