Interpreting Services Part III: Choosing Interpreting Equipment
Boston, MA, July 11, 2016 – Providing technical support and interpreting equipment for a conference is not a simple matter. As an interpretation and translation services agency based in Boston, Language Connections is commonly confronted with clients who are not aware of the various types of interpreting equipment and how they are used. Putting together a working plan, including which equipment to use, allows our clients to consider the best option for their specific event.
One of our interpreting project managers, Natasha Taylor, explains “Most people don’t realize the work that goes into an interpreting event. In addition to selecting interpreters, technicians must be brought in prior to the event to set up equipment in such a way as to ensure there will not be any unnecessary noise or interruptions, and that the speaker’s message will be delivered clearly. There is in fact a great amount of preplanning and coordination that goes into the actual preparation of any interpreting event.”
For events which require simultaneous interpretation, there are several options to consider depending on the space, the type of event, and the allocated budget. The most common types of conference interpreting equipment used for large international conferences, for example, consist of wired microphone systems which enable the audience to hear what is being said in a given language using wireless headphones. The interpreted speech is rendered by the interpreters who are situated in separate soundproof booths. For smaller, less formal situations portable interpreting equipment may be used which allows the interpreter to have more flexibility and physical proximity to the speaker. As a language service provider, we must predict what will work best in the particular situation for which our client requests our professional interpreting services.
Wired Microphone System: For conference interpreting, a wired microphone system with built-in language channel listening for all of the participants is distributed throughout the conference room. Wireless microphones for the presenters are installed by technicians prior to the conference. Multi-channel conference audio systems are commonly used as they allow participants to select their own language on their personal receiver.
Soundproof Booth Options: There are several booth options for the interpreters: Custom-built, full-size soundproof booths are usually placed in the back of the conference room to keep the interpreters’ voices from disrupting the speaker and participants. When space is tight, compact and economical table-top booths can also be used. If there is not enough room for a booth, interpreters work in nearby rooms linked to the speaker and audience via video and audio feeds.
Portable Systems: For smaller more informal meetings a portable equipment system, or “whisper” system, provides the simplest and least expensive solution. A wallet-sized transmitter is used for the interpreter and wireless receivers with headsets for the listeners allowing for freedom of movement. Although this type of equipment is optimal for small group meetings, site visits or tours, it can also be useful for lectures, presentations and classrooms where the interpreter stands directly next to the speaker and facilitates for the audience.
Whether providing simultaneous interpreting in Spanish and Japanese at the IHS CERA Week Energy Conference, interpreting into Chinese for delegates visiting from China during a meeting at the MIT-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, or professional interpreting services during a company meeting, the right equipment and interpreters can make all the difference.
For more information about our services visit our Interpreting Services Page
Missed the first two installments of this 3-part guide to interpreting? Check out Interpreting Services Part I: Modes of Conference Interpreting and Interpreting Services Part II: How to Select an Interpreter for more valuable information.
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is a language service provider. We specialize in technical, medical and legal translation, software and website localization, simultaneous and consecutive interpretation, corporate language programs, and interpreter training. We provide certified, professional translation in 100+ languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, German, and French. With over 20 years of experience, we have expertise in all major industries including the life sciences, patent and immigration law, international business, global education, and advanced technology. Our cost-effective interpreting and conference solutions will meet your multilingual needs for all types of international events – business meetings, conferences, lectures or presentations.
For a free quote or to learn more about our services visit www.languageconnections.com.
Language Connections LLC
2001 Beacon Street, Suite 105
Boston, MA 02135