STEP BY STEP GUIDE INTO SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETATION AT YOUR EVENT.   Organizing an event can be challenging and pre-occupying. You have to consider the renting of gadgets and equipment, setting up of the hardware to be used at the event and most importantly finding the right interpreters from different countries around the world. Hence, we have detailed out a step by step guide which would aid you to decide what is best for your event and make available to you excellent interpreting services that beats the expectations of your attendees.

  • Ensuring proper interpretation equipment.
  • Alternatives to equipment that helps to translate.
  • Procuring the services of right simultaneous interpreters.
  • Specific language properly translated.
  What really is simultaneous interpreting? The system of simultaneous interpreting is such that an interpreter translates the speech of a presenter in real time. This is different from consecutive interpreting which allows obstructions in the sound effect. Simultaneous interpreting gives a clear and sound speech of the speaker with no disturbances such that there is an efficient output for the listeners   Occurs at exact timing.   IS THERE AN APPROPRIATE TIME FOR SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETING? Simultaneous interpreting is such that it does not give the interpreter the opportunity to stop and think through before continuing with the simultaneous interpretation, this is accorded the most preferably most particularly for large events such as conferences, seminars. The success of these events can be easily affected if attendees do not get the best of experience.   Time is maximized. The natural flow of the speaker is maintained.   Asides that it must be acknowledged that simultaneous interpretation can be challenging for the interpreters. It is expected of them to concisely interpret within a very limited time what is being said. Also, another factor that poses as a challenge is the fact that they usually do not have a knowledge of what is to be said at the event, they only know the theme of the event.   Well, at this stage we have an idea what simultaneous interpreting is all about. We also are aware of which event makes use of such mode of interpreting. Now let’s discuss best means to manage it at your event.  

Part 1: How to take care of interpretation equipment. Traditional equipment for simultaneous interpretation Image from Unfortunately, event organizers usually choose traditional conference interpreting equipment (hardware) beside to enable participants to listen in to interpreters during their events.    

How do you make use of simultaneous interpretation using traditional hardware work?

  • A microphone is used by the speaker.
  • A soundproof interpreter booth is provided manned by an interpreter who listens through headphones when their speech is broadcasted to him.
  • The interpreter speaks into a microphone having listened to the speech. All these as to be done in exact timing (real time)
  • Thereafter the interpretation is wirelessly transmitted into the headphones of attendees.
  Are you considering buying or renting simultaneous interpretation hardware? You have to consider the following.  
  1. The size of your event centre and the capacity of the audience you are expecting.
  Image from   Proper planning for your event means that you would pay attention to the prospective attendees so that you can make provision for more than enough receivers. It is bad planning to discover that there is a shortage of receivers for attendees. Therefore you would need to be ascertain the exact number of attendees to expect at the event. This would help you to know the number of headsets you will be needing. Then extra in the event that the need arises. What makes different is the fact that you don’t have to guess the number of attendees. For example, if you are expecting 100 attendees, it would not be advisable to order 80 headsets. But if you order 120 headsets, then you might need to pay extra charges. However, this challenge is solved when using the app   The number of languages that would be used at the event.       Image from     Upon knowing the capacity of the people who would be attending your event, you have to ascertain the number of languages the event will have to be interpreted to. The reason is because it would help you determine the number of transmitters you would be needing at your event. Transmitters allows the interpretation to be broadcasted in exact timing through radio waves. Radio waves can in the form of portable or stationary. However, In app you do not need transmitters, just your laptop would do.        
  1. Portable system? How portable do you want it to be?
  Image from In the real sense of it, interpretation hardware are portable. But the issue is, how portable is it? This is determined by factors such as power supply and the way and manner you can easily set it up. Therefore, before you arrive on more portable or less portable equipment, consider the following points which relates to how translation systems work.                      
  1. Where the interpreters would be sitting and basics of interpretation booths?
  Image from: The place the interpreters would be sitting is also of very paramount importance. This is because their work requires great amount of concentration and also the work can be very challenging. Therefore you have ensure that you create a place called the soundproof booths where they would feel more at ease and able to see the speaker. When traditional system is being used it is a must for simultaneous interpretation to have interpreter booths. The interpreters have to be physically in the venue. Putting to mind that such event can be very noisy. So, you have to acknowledge that interpreters are under so much pressure in such big conferences. That is why it is very important to ensure that they work in a soundproof environment also known as the interpreter booth. There are two types of interpreter booths; permanent or mobile. These types are regulated by the international organization for standardization (ISO). There are standards relating to conference interpreting. There are regulations for permanent booths, there are also regulations for mobile booths. Interpreter booth also come in shapes; table-top or as full size interpreter booths. Table-top booth are placed on top of a table and their main advantage is that they are easy to transport and set-up. However, interpreter booths are usually open at the back, which invariably means that they comfort of the interpreters is not assured because not all parts of the booths is soundproof. On the other hand, transporting these booths is a challenge and also assembling it. That means you would need the services of technicians to get this done.          
  1. Ensure that the Infrared is not obstructed.
Image from     Infrared signals are easily obstructed by walls or objects. Therefore, you must put this into consideration when planning on renting or buying equipment that uses infrared. Infrared signals are used to transmit the speech and the interpretation. Ensure that the space between the transmitter and the receiver is not obstructed in any way. An alternative to infrared is using FM system if you cannot guarantee none-obstruction.   Types of Interpretation system: The most preferred? Option A: Infrared systems The infrared system is a technology that uses undetectable pulses of light to transmit to the speaker or translation feed. Through multi-channel receivers, the stream is received into the headphones of attendees.   Main points to take cognizance of when using infrared systems
  • Obstruction is the weak point of infrared. You would not get the efficient delivery if there is an obstruction. Therefore, most times the best place to place them is in front of listeners (in a clear line of sight)
  • Once you have ensured the above, note also that infrared cannot be covered with objects such as curtains or drapes. So for the sake of good sound quality, you would have to dispense with such embellishments.
  • Infrared need minimum light. The room you would place them have to be averagely illuminated- not very bright and flashing light.
  • Bigger space means more infrared emitters for closer range.
  Option B. FM Interpretation systems (handheld) with medium range FM interpretation uses radio waves to transmit speech (either original or translated) to the attendees. It is similar to infrared systems, FM systems are also connected to multi channels receivers with headphones.   Main points to take cognizance of when using FM systems
  • The portability is commendable, therefore logistics is not really a challenge.
  • They are easy to carry about because of their portability.
  • FM systems are not sensitive to obstructions unlike infrared systems. This means that it is easy for FM systems to penetrate walls and other objects. They are also not light sensitive which makes it a good advantage in the event that you want to organize your conference outside.
  • However, their portability is attendant with the challenge of limited range (around 250 feet/76 meters). This means you will have to calculate accurately the sums of FM emitters to be used.


Option C: FM systems with longer range (portable)   For a venue that is more than 1,000 feet (about 300 meters), there is the need to consider using a longer range FM system. However, with huge power, it becomes more heavy. Although, FM system are portable, yet the time to set it up can be consuming.   Main points to take cognizance of when using infrared systems  
  • The power that you need must be considered. If you care for the sound quality of your event then you would have enough power. More power would mean better cancellation of radio interference, which in turn means better sound quality in the interpretations transmitted.
  • Large audience would mean longer range FM systems which are cost effective than medium range.
  • However, the challenge with longer range FM systems is that although there are still portable yet they are not mobile. These transmitters are usually fixed, moaning speakers and attendees cannot move too far from them or they will not hear the speech anymore.
  Option D: Using the app You can also use the app if you really want to forget about equipment cost. The app can be used in events, meetings, conferences and you are also able to listen to simultaneous translation from your smart device.   The app can be downloaded on your phone before the commencement of the event. At the event, you would be given headset in order to make the sounds clearer for better understanding. The app is easy to use; can either be opened via the app or the website.  Lastly, there are no limits to the number of listeners. With app, all listeners can join the event from anywhere they work.   One of the main points in using app is that is portable compared to other options identified above. It is also easy to use and mobile too.     What are the things to consider when using interpreter booths? Image from:   A clear sight of the speakers is one of the most important thing to consider. Also, the conference stage and the presentations. When interpreters are able to see clearly what is going on then you can be rest assured of accurate interpreting. Access to good internet connection is also desirable for interpreters. More than enough power outlets is also required for laptops, gadgets or any other thing that would aid them in their work. The air quality in the booth is also very critical. That is why CO2 sensors must be on ground. In conclusion, pay attention to optimal acoustic conditions. It is such condition that surrounding noise does not impair efficient interpretation experience. The sound insulation from other booths also should be good.

Part 2: Alternative equipment for interpretation at conferences

There is the clamour for alternatives to using traditional hardware. This is due to the various logistics involves and required when using traditional equipment sound. It can be very challenging hence the smart alternatives are here to stay. So, apps like the app is a great option to consider and use. It is an app that has positively disrupted the traditional methods to the advantage of event managers and attendees.   The use of Innovative systems for simultaneous translation. Image from   Event organizers are usually challenged with keeping to budget. Thankfully, there are now innovative alternatives to traditional simultaneous interpretation equipment. Tech companies are now successfully having great impact on the interpreting industry by developing apps like app that can completely or partially replace traditional interpreting hardware. The essence of this is that you are able to effortlessly stream any kind of audio, whether it is the speaker in their original language or a simultaneous interpretation of the speech at the event into as many languages as you need. What stands out simultaneous interpretation when you use it rather than traditional hardware. Apps like app are simultaneous interpretation app and a mobile system that helps to stream in exact timing audio to the headphones of attendees’ smart devices. These apps have the capacity to fully replace traditional interpreting hardware at conferences and seminars. It makes it simpler to use for event organizers. The advantage they have is that they cut out many troubles associated with traditional solutions. Things like assembling translation booths, managing logistics and expenses related with having interpreters on site and fixing broken headphone sets or locating ones that have gone missing. What really stands out is that long queues which is associated with traditional hardware is none existing with simultaneous interpretation. The time expended in queuing can be used by attendees to network with other participants. Interpreters represent a major change as well with these new systems. These new system helps them to be able to work from anywhere in the world no matter how remote it is. Image from


Organizing hardware

Event organizers face a daunting task and can be more daunting when they realize last minute that interpretation equipment is inadequate, or has some technical defect. But with simultaneous interpretation there is little or no technical issues. Your attendees only need a smartphone or tablet, and their own headphones. Therefore, extra pairs of the headphones made available is part of the things that guarantees a successful event Audience reach: A major difference between interpretation audios and using app based system like app is that remote streaming is guaranteed. Which means that anyone, anywhere can listen to it over the web. This makes the app a great option for maximizing the reach and effect of your event.   Interpreters working remotely It is also very possible to work remotely through the use of mobile systems from anywhere in the world. It ensures better flexibility and control over how they work. Time to prepare is also an advantage which means they can prepare for each event. Simultaneous interpretation ensures a smooth interpretation. Finally, since interpreters are making use of the app, it becomes almost impossible to detect how stressed they are having travelled a long journey to come down to the event.   Interpreter booths The challenge of renting and setting up interpreter booths can be dispensed with the availability of remote interpreters. You plan within budget for your event and you get to worry less. This is a good advantage considering the strict regulations and standards that need to be met when setting up booths Economic friendly One of the ways to effectively work within budget is exploring the option of simultaneous interpreting apps. Renting or buying interpretation hardware, renting interpreter booths, and covering the travel and accommodation costs of the interpreters. This is all dependent on the cost of the event which can add up to be about 50% of the events budget. Easier to Set-up It is simply to set up, attendees only need to install the app on their smartphone, connect the event’s Wi-Fi (or they can use their mobile data) and then click “play” on their chosen language. It is not necessary to install the app in advance- they can do everything in couple of minutes at the venue. And event organisers just need their laptop or mobile system. Time is of Essence Setting up interpretation booths and other traditional equipment is needful. Event managers and other responsible people involved can shift their attention to other tasks that help to ensure the event goes as smoothly as possible. Do you really need to switch to a tech based solution straight away? Organizers and participants are already building a good reputation with simultaneous interpretation. app, for example has already been used at more than 2,500 events in more than 35 countries. It is still possible to jointly use simultaneous interpretation with existing systems- for example app is fully compatible with traditional the interpretation hardware. Part 3: Getting the services of the right simultaneous interpreters. Apart from having the right place, you also include the right personnel. These five points is to be considered when looking for an interpreter.   Image from                      

  1. Identify what exactly is needed
Obviously you know what you need, yet it is important you re-evaluate that this is what you actually need. For example, it is important to state clearly a particular term people use “translator” and “interpreter” are sometimes thought to mean the same thing, but in fact a translator is meant to work on written word while an interpreter with spoken languages. There is a wide gap between these two.
  1. Specialization is key
Interpreters must be very knowledgeable people. This is because they need to listen to, understand and memorize what the speaker is saying now, while at the same time ensuring that they are interpreting the words 10 seconds in the target language. Certainly, they have to have a very sound knowledge of the technical vocabulary of the subject area they are interpreting. They do not have the luxury of time to pause and think through what a word or a phrase means. That is why simultaneous interpreting involves a lot of technicality. Therefore, you have to ensure you engage the service of a specialist or an expert. There are numerous of them who are specialist conference interpreters, but the most important factor is to hire conference interpreters, but the most critical thing to pay attention to is the conference interpreters that already have a knowledge in the field of your event.
  1. Go through local and international associations
It is advisable to find experienced and trustworthy interpreters at their associations. They do have local and international bodies such as the International Association of Conference Interpreters) or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. It is better to approach them and seek for the best personnel in your event’s field and able to work in your region.  
  1. Engaging your colleagues
You can engage people one on one. This is a more trustworthy approach because people within your industry would have more information about conference interpreters, ask around. And definitely people would not want to refer someone who is unprofessional because it would also impugn their reputation.  
  1. Optimization
As long as you are planning on using simultaneous apps rather than traditional hardware. Then you can achieve two things at once. There are innovative companies that have compiled databases of simultaneous interpreters they have worked with. So, by choosing to work harmoniously with these companies you can equally take advantage of their smart tech solutions while also getting valuable referrals to trusted interpreters and saves you time. Image from                  


Part 4: Niche languages?  There is no issue.

  Image from: Relay translation is used when no one is available who can interpret directly from the source language into the target language. Therefore, an intermediary interpreter is used. For instance, a speech given in German (the source language) is interpreted into French by one interpreter, and then that speech is interpreted from French into English by another interpreter. The use of smart technology in this process aids the process. For example, the translator fm app makes relay interpretation easier because it allows the interpretation from the source language to be seamlessly transmitted to multiple target languages. The solution to some major challenges bedevilling event managers Our concern should not just be on practical points mentioned above, but our concern should be the future. What are the major challenges faced? And how can smart interpreting solutions help to address these challenges

Event budgets

The year 2018, a study was conducted by EventMB which was majored on the events in the industry. In that report, it was stated that almost half of the event organizers surveyed 57% mentioned that the major challenge is the budget. How does simultaneous interpreting come in? The truth is the cost of engaging interpreters and interpreting equipment are always very astronomical. Because they require less equipment and there are no travel or accommodation costs for the interpreters, interpreting apps like translator fm app can greatly help to minimize cost and fit into your budget. Translator fm app can be used effortlessly because it can be integrated into other event planning apps. .

Attendee numbers

Also, in the same study attendee numbers were listed as the third biggest challenge event managers’ face. In terms of interpreting, highly variable attendee numbers can be a real headache. If you estimate too high, you will waste money on interpreting equipment that doesn’t get used, but if you estimate too low, you will be going out of your budget. Therefore, apps like translator fm app can help event managers because there is no limit to how many people can use the app. What is more, you do not have to worry about whether the attendees will all fit in the room to hear the speaker because they will be able to listen to the presenter anywhere in the venue just with their phone and headphones.  

Work-life balance

An important issue is work-life balance for almost a third of event managers according to a recent research by EventMB. They often get so overwhelmed by the many things they have to organize that they don’t have enough time for themselves. Using interpreting apps can save precious time, with no need to set up translation hardware, or install interpreting booths. They even make looking for interpreters easier. And since you do not have to distribute headsets and then make sure you get them all back, there is one less thing to worry about . Conclusion Event planning is very challenging but gratifying ob. With proper planning and resources, goals can be achieved and even expectation met over and beyond, all in a timely and budget considerate manner. Interpreting apps certainly have a lot to offer in terms of budgeting, and for saving on time and human resources. They can even give your event a more innovative flavour and enhance the experience for attendees. Although, the acceptance of the public is still not encouraging yet translator fm app has recorded great reviews from users who have benefited from the app in time past. In this case, why not try making a smooth, step-by-step transition by combining both traditional and new interpreting equipment solutions at your next event? Further sources on this can be found in:    

Click here to try for free