Are Simultaneous Interpretation Services Right For Your Needs?

simultaneous interpretation services

Are Simultaneous Interpretation Services Right For Your Needs?

The world of today is more or less a global village. With advances in technology and the transport industry, in particular, international trade is easier than it has ever been. This is the reason why forward-thinking organizations are dipping their toes in foreign markets in the search for opportunities in international expansion.

As one might guess, the target audience in foreign markets does not always speak English, which creates communication hurdles between you and your potential clients. This is where interpretation services come in.

If you think your business would benefit from an interpreter, it’s important to know which style of interpretation best suits your needs before you go and hire one. There are two main styles of interpretation to know about: consecutive and simultaneous. In this article, we’ll be breaking down the differences between the 2 methods and give you a better idea of which style of interpretation you will need.


Different Styles of Interpretation


Consecutive Interpretation

Consecutive interpretation occurs between breaks and natural pauses in the flow of conversation. When the speaker pauses after a sentence or two, the interpreter steps in and interprets their message for the other party.

The consecutive style of interpretation is the most common style of interpretation that you’ll encounter. You can find consecutive interpretation in most jobs that do not include a public speech or conference. Common environments include IEP meetings, clinic or hospital visits, and other small group meetings, which all employ the consecutive style of interpretation. This enables the back-and-forth dialogue exchange between two or more parties.

Consecutive interpretation is the most economical form of interpretation service provided because of its simplicity and minimal equipment requirements.


Simultaneous Interpretation

In the event of a conference, public event, speech, or court proceeding, a simultaneous mode of interpretation is usually necessary. The interpreter sits in a soundproof booth with a direct view of the speaker. As the speaker talks, the interpreter listens and translates the speech into another language, relaying it into a microphone that records their words.

Simultaneous interpretation is much like a one-way street, as it relays the message of one party to the other but does not work the other way around.

Simultaneous interpretation costs more than consecutive interpretation for a number of reasons. As the interpreter has to work concurrently with the speaker with no breaks, simultaneous interpretation is much more difficult than consecutive. It is even more stressful for the interpreter when they do not know the content of the speech beforehand. Add in the cost of specialized equipment, such as sound booths, video cameras, screens, and microphones, and you can understand the justification for the elevated cost.

In short, people usually use consecutive interpretations to enable effective communication between small groups and simultaneous interpretation at an event that involves public speaking or addresses.


Applications of Simultaneous Interpretation

There are two main advantages of simultaneous interpretation: it saves time and does not break the natural flow of the speaker.

Since there are no pauses or breaks where the interpreter can stop to formulate their words throughout a speech, simultaneous interpretation is the best option for any large-scale event that involves a public speech. You should never use consecutive interpretation in such scenarios, as any interruptions in the delivery can undermine and impact the message. A person making an impassioned speech cannot keep up their performance for long if they have to take a long break after every sentence to allow for the interpretation.


When To, and When Not To, Use Simultaneous Interpretation

Events where simultaneous is considered the required style of interpretation include:

  • Diplomatic meetings and conferences
  • International conferences
  • Executive training programs
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Board or business meetings
  • Court proceedings 
  • Tours
  • Large presentations

If your company is hosting foreign delegations at an event, for instance, simultaneous interpretation makes sure to provide them with all the necessary linguistic support for their optimal participation and involvement in the event. 

Similarly, if you need to make a big presentation to pitch a business idea or showcase your results and progress in a particular field, simultaneous interpretation should be your first choice. 

However, if you wish to only converse with the foreign delegates in a casual setting, you should use consecutive interpretation, as it allows for a much smoother back-and-forth exchange between two parties. If you use simultaneous interpretation in this setting, it will disturb the flow of the speaker and make the conversation awkward for both parties. In the worst-case scenario, the words of the interpreter can make the speaker lose their train of thought, and thus impact their speech.


Can Your Business Benefit From Simultaneous Interpretation?

If your business is in any way affiliated with a foreign region, it can benefit from simultaneous interpretation. Your business might source raw material or parts from another country, or it might sell its products in a foreign market. Alternatively, it might have another branch or outsourced team in another country. Whatever the case may be, if your organization has a presence in an overseas region, you can utilize simultaneous interpretation as a tool for the company’s benefit and growth.

As a step towards the expansion of your company, you can invite your foreign business partners, clients, or employees to your headquarters. There, you can pitch them an idea or business proposal through an informative and impressive presentation. With the aid of an interpreter simultaneously relaying your message in their language, you can make an impactful presentation and convince them to join your cause.

If you feel that your business could benefit from simultaneous interpretation, choose Acutrans as your service provider.

Acutrans has been in the interpretation and translation services industry for over 20 years. Over the years, we have built up a team of over 2,000 linguists dedicated to providing you with the highest quality interpretation services.

Our extensive team allows us to offer you consecutive and simultaneous interpretation services in over 50 languages. We have interpreters trained in the finance, legal, tourism and hospitality, health care, government, and manufacturing industries, among many others. Regardless of the industry you operate in, Acutrans can deliver competent interpreter services that will make your job more convenient.


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