Types of Conference Interpretation
This is for a smaller group of people, where the interpreter takes notes and feeds back after each statement is made. Most likely to be used for translating a witness statement in court.
This is face to face interpretation, for example during a small business meeting between two different language speakers.
This is interpreting live as it is happening, normally via interpreters in booths wearing headphones. You will see this regularly in news coverage of large international events, such as the G7 Summit or at the UN.
This is simultaneous interpreting where the interpreter is only relaying information to one or two people by whispering.
More information on interpretation methods here.
What Type of Interpreting do I Need for my Conference?
Simultaneous interpretation is the most common type of interpretation for conferences, but it can also be used for business activities of varying sizes.
Large Conferences (20+ people)
If you’re planning a large international conference, a formal business meeting or a corporate annual meeting, you will need a slightly different approach to interpreting. For these larger events with over 20 people, you’ll be looking at having two interpreters. This allows each interpreter to take breaks, to ensure a high-quality service throughout a long day. You will also require specific equipment including booths, microphones and headsets, and a site visit may be required beforehand.
Medium to Small Events and Meetings
If you’re planning a business meeting, looking for a tour guide or undertaking a foreign audit, you’ll only need one interpreter to cover a shift. These events are far less formal than a large conference, but will still require some equipment, such as microphones or headphones so the translation can be heard clearly.
This is essentially Chuchotage, where an interpreter whispers the translation to a person. Generally, this is used in legal proceedings, business meetings and liaisons where only one or two people don’t speak the main language.These are more casual meetings where you will generally only need one interpreter. It may involve specific equipment, but generally doesn’t require it.