Conference interpreting

If the language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant.

Confucius (551-479 BC)


Conference interpreting as a general term

Interpreting takes many forms. The same may be said of conference interpreting: there are a range of different forms and formats of conference interpreting services. Some examples:

  • Consecutive interpreting

    Deferred, structured translation, in segments.

  • Simultaneous interpreting
    Speech and interpretation occur simultaneously, generally with the use of conference equipment, e.g. sound-proofed translator booths.
  • “Whispered” interpreting, also known as chuchotage

    Simultaneous translating for 1–2 people by means of whispering the translation.

  • Escort interpreting
    Consecutive translation in the context of escorting persons or groups, e.g. at sporting or cultural events, often with the assistance of portable tour-guidance equipment.

  • Liaison interpreting
    Usually bilateral, consecutive translation, sometimes whispered interpreting, at international meetings.


Each type of interpreting serves the needs of a different type of audience and draws on a different set of techniques.

Speaking very generally, one can say that specially trained simultaneous interpreters, or conference interpreters, are employed for conference interpreting. Naturally, they do not work only at conferences; they also interpret at conventions, meetings, trade fairs, workshops and symposia: in short, at all types of events where simultaneous or consecutive interpreting is needed.

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As the interpreter engaged in conference interpreting has only a fraction of a second in which to comprehend and relay spoken speech, conference interpreting requires a very high degree of concentration. Conference interpreters often work in specially shielded interpreter booths in pairs, sometimes in teams of three, which allows them to work in regular rotation.


To ensure that your conference is a success,

you require the following:

  • interpreting equipment (interpreting system, in some cases portable guide system for smaller events) and
  • a seasoned, experienced team of interpreters (made up of at least two interpreters per language or language direction);


we require the following:

  • the programme/schedule and, above all,
  • preparational materials (i.e. information as comprehensive as possible about the structure and content of the event).


Remember: the better the interpreters are able to prepare themselves, the greater a contribution they can make toward the success of your event.


We will put together your simultaneous interpreting team and, if you wish, provide the necessary interpreting equipment. Please call us: we would be happy to advise you.


Naturally, you can book interpreters for any other type of interpreting through us as well.


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