Conference interpreting

Are you planning an event at which the participants speak different languages? Do you want to make sure they all understand each other and ensure proceedings run seamlessly? Maybe you’re unsure whether you even need to provide an interpreting service, and if you do, what you need to consider.

Conference interpreters usually work at international conferences, congresses, business meetings, tours and presentations. They translate spoken contributions from one language into another. The type (mode) of interpreting depends on the specifics of the event, e.g. the number of languages and the amount of people who need an interpreter as well as the location and length of the event. Typical modes of interpreting are simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpretation, whispered interpretation and negotiation interpretation.

The following is a short overview of the different types of interpreting:

Simultaneous interpreting:

  • Almost instantaneous rendering of one language into another – this means no extra time is necessary
  • Suitable for events with large numbers of participants and two or more languages
  • Interpreters work in a soundproof booth – additional conference technology is required

Whispered interpreting:

  • Essentially a pared-down version of simultaneous interpretation without the booth, sometimes with an electronic transmission system
  • Suitable for factory/museum tours, or in certain cases even for events with low participant numbers
  • Interpreters “whisper” to one or two people directly, or to a small group using a transmitter and receivers

Consecutive interpreting:

  • Staggered rendering of speeches or passages from one language into another
  • Suitable for festive occasions and events at which the use of conference technology is not possible
  • Interpreted passages are often more fluent, direct and rhetorically polished – they offer a more pleasant listening experience. The total length of each speech, however, is almost doubled – no simultaneity!

Liaison interpreting:

  • In this special form of consecutive interpreting, often used in conversational situations and negotiations, short passages of text are relayed – section by section with a short time delay – in the target language
  • Applications: roundtable negotiations, technical communication (e.g. instructions for using a machine), interviews, etc.

Feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail. Together we will find a solution for your event that suits your needs.

Interested in obtaining tips for planning your multilingual event? Click here to browse the website of the German Association of Conference Interpreters (VKD) - member of the German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ e. V).