Conference Interpretation: Doing Business in a Global Economy

by | Jan 23, 2017 | Translation Services

Globalization via rapid advances in telecommunication technology has made modern business a truly global affair. Now more than ever before, people from different countries and cultures find themselves attending industry meetings and needing to communicate with people that don’t speak their language fluently. Industries are now spread thin across the globe, with new regions taking on different responsibilities that cater to their strengths. Conference interpretation is a language service that government identities, corporations, and industry leaders use to help everyone attending understand not just the words but the meaning and intent of the speaker.

What is conference interpretation?

Conference interpretation is a language service that deals only with oral communication: rendering a message from one language to another naturally while adopting the tone and convictions of the original speaker.

It is the art of conveying the meaning and intention behind the words so that the audience can have a deeper experience with the speaker, instead of simply reading a text translation. When a speaker is addressing an audience, the interpreter ensures his or her interpretation is understood by all.

How does conference interpretation work?

Depending on the setting, an interpreter may use one of two methods. Two modes of conference interpretation are:

  • Simultaneous interpretation: The name “simultaneous” is a bit of a misnomer in this case, since it isn’t possible for anyone to interpret before understanding the full meaning and context of what is being spoken, but this is the more immediate mode of interpretation. Interpreters usually have an average of a four-second delay between the speaker’s message and their simultaneous interpretation of the message. This shows the difficulty in conveying the real meaning of language and the absolute necessity of using professional interpreters. An interpreter will usually sit in a soundproof booth and listen as the speakers present to their audience via a microphone, simultaneously translating what is being said while listening to the speaker. To understand how difficult this is, try to repeat what someone is saying to you while listening to them, and repeat your rephrased message out loud. Now imagine doing that in a different language! Interpreters providing simultaneous interpretation in this setting work in teams of two.
  • Consecutive interpretation. In this form of interpretation, the interpreter and speaker will, in essence, rotate between speaking to the audience and speaking “consecutively” after each other. The speaker will pause after a complete thought or sentence. The interpreter then steps in and delivers the speech in the second language word for word. Consecutive interpretation can double the length of the presentation.

Accessible interpretation services in a technology-driven world

Not long ago video conferencing required significant infrastructure and cumbersome setups that only large organizations could afford. Because of this, the companies needing interpreters for a video conference rarely had budgetary concerns.

With modern conferencing technology such as, WebEx, GoToMeeting and Adobe Connect, business conferences done remotely are now the norm rather than the exception. The migration of meetings to the cloud has eliminated many of the traditional barriers, and now simultaneous interpretation via phone or video are easy and affordable. The decreased costs of remote interpretation, such as not paying to have an interpreter come to your site, have made it even easier and more affordable for governments, small businesses, hospitals, law firms, and many other entities to have an on-call interpreter. The increased communication between parts of the globe has increased the demand for interpreters to sit in on these meetings to ensure that all parties understand each other perfectly. Webinars, conference calls, video conferences, virtual trade shows, and other remote opportunities for interpretation keep increasing the demand and affordability of our services.

The global nature of business and modern telecommunication technologies have increased the need for effective conference interpretation. When doing business, understanding the minute details of each interaction is key. Effective communication in real time is paramount. That’s what our conference interpretation services do for you.