Perhaps the most well-known form of interpreting due to its widespread use in international conferences. Used for the first time during the Nuremberg trials in 1945, it was rapidly established as the most appropriate form of interpreting for multilingual international conferences and similar events.
The interpreters are located in special chambers (known as “booths”), isolated from the background noise of the environment. They listen to the speaker through headphones and interpret almost simultaneously, speaking into the microphone. Audience members are able to listen to the language of their choice through receivers/headphones.
Due to the high level of concentration required, the interpreters alternate every 20-30 minutes as required. During intense meetings, this period may be reduced to 10, or even 5, minutes. For this reason, simultaneous interpretation requires the presence of at least two interpreters, except for very short sessions (30-45 minutes).
Simultaneous interpretation also requires the necessary equipment (booths, microphones, headphones, audio equipment), but allows for meetings to be held in many languages, without interruptions. This is the only acceptable solution for events involving more than two languages.
Whispering Interpretation (Chuchotage)
A special form of simultaneous interpreting: for a short period of time, an interpreter may translate simultaneously, whispering to one or two listeners. Laborious for the interpreter and a source of disruption to the surroundings. Recommended only when use of a different form of interpreting is unfeasible.
The speaker completes a portion of his or her speech, and the interpreter begins, aided by memory and, in most cases, his or her notes. A common form of interpreting in bilateral meetings and negotiations with the participation of small groups.