‘Can you do simultaneous translation?’ is a question frequently put to interpreters. Terms such as simultaneous translating or live translating are often used to refer to the art of simultaneous interpretation.
A simultaneous interpreter makes sure that the message comes across to all listeners without a noticeable time lag. How it works: The interpreters work in a soundproof booth where they hear the speaker through headphones. Simultaneously – almost at the same time as the speaker – they deliver the speech in the target language. This way, listeners that do not understand the language of the speaker are able to follow what is said without a delay or disruption of the event. Simultaneous interpreters work in teams of two or three people per language combination. They take turns every 20-30 minutes, as even a well-trained interpreter’s brain needs a break after such an intense cognitive strain.
Chuchotage (Whispered Interpreting)
Chuchotage is a specific type of simultaneous interpretation. It is often referred to as whispered interpretation, because the interpreter whispers directly into the listeners’ ears. For small groups, a microphone and receivers may be used. However, chuchotage is only suitable for very few listeners and a short time span. To ensure a flawless delivery and avoid disturbing the other listeners, simultaneous interpretation in a booth is the preferable option for conferences.