Simultaneous Interpreting Services

translator providing simultaneous interpretation services We were extremely impressed by your standard of interpretation and it was also commented upon by various delegates and speakers.” Adam Smith Institute, UK


Simultaneous interpretation is the most difficult type of language interpreting. It virtually replaced consecutive interpretation in major international organizations, such as the United Nations, because of its convenience.

What is Simultaneous Interpretation?

Definition: Simultaneous interpretation (also incorrectly called “simultaneous translation” or “real time translation”) is the process of rendering a message in one language (source language) into another language (target language) segment by segment until the original sentence is finished.

Microphone and switchboard in interpretors boothThere is a certain lag of just a few seconds between the original and the interpretation, called ear voice span or decalage.

A professional simultaneous interpreter works with meaning and does not simply translate word for word: the main goal of language interpretation is to help all parties communicate. Despite advances in technology, professional simultaneous interpreters will not be replaced by computers any time soon!

Simultaneous interpretation is a professional service and it takes several years to acquire basic skills. Most simultaneous interpreters are freelancers and there is additional specialization.

How is professional simultaneous interpretation done?

Usually simultaneous interpretation is done in a soundproof booth with interpreters using headsets and microphones. Interpreters need to receive “full house feed” i.e. to be able to hear all that is said or heard in the conference room. The set up is assembled by an audio technician who also monitors sound quality.

Considering how difficult simultaneous interpretation is, conference interpreters work in pairs: each interpreter usually works a 30 minute shift. 


History of Simultaneous Interpretation

simultaneous interpretation receiversSimultaneous interpretation services with equipment is a relatively new type of cross cultural communication. First attempts to save time at international conferences and avoid consecutive interpretation happened in the late 1920s in the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization.  Simultaneous interpretation equipment was first invented to read pre-translated texts. 

Simultaneous interpretation as we know it (live without a script) was spearheaded by Colonel Leon Dostert at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII. Gradually simultaneous interpretation becomes a default mode of interpretation in the UN and the UN Security Council although not without resistance from consecutive interpreters!


Simultaneous Interpretation Services Today

Conference interpretation today is primarily simultaneous with over 70% of conferences using this mode of language interpretation! Over 3,000 conference interpreters in the world are members of AIIC  – International Association of Conference Interpreters, including the owner of InterStar Translations.


language translation agencyInterStar Translations offers a full spectrum of simultaneous interpretation services and only hires professional interpreters with extensive experience. We are a USA based conference interpretation firm.

We provide simultaneous interpretation services for conferences, seminars, training events, business meetings. 

Our services include everything you may need for accurate and efficient communication including simultaneous interpretation equipment.

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