top of page

What’s the difference between conference interpreting and virtual interpreting?

Solutions like translation and interpretation can help prevent language barriers from hindering your business growth. Interpretation approaches can vary to suit a wide range of needs. The two most common approaches are conference and virtual interpretation. At Joseph Blain Inc. in Montreal, our linguists and interpreters offer both on-site and remote simultaneous interpretation. Read on to learn the differences between conference and virtual interpretation.

Work environment

The first major difference between conference and virtual interpretation is where the work happens.

When performing conference interpretation, the interpreter must travel to the event location to translate spoken language in real-time and in person. The task is usually carried out from a soundproof booth. The interpreter listens to what’s being said via headphones and then translates the spoken message into the target language through a microphone. This allows the people listening to actively participate in the discussion.

Virtual interpreting is similar, except the interpreter doesn’t have to travel to the event location. A reliable computer, noise-cancelling headphones and a fast internet connection are the only requirements to provide effective video remote interpretation. This type of service is ideal for meetings and other virtual events that take place online.


Virtual interpreting typically costs less than conference interpreting, largely because you don’t have to pay for the interpreter’s travel or accommodation expenses. Virtual interpreters can simply work from the comfort of their own homes.


Conference interpreting requires more planning than virtual interpretation. Again, this is mainly because conference interpreters must travel and be present for the entirety of the conference or event. A big advantage of video remote interpretation is that you can benefit from oral translation in various target languages, regardless of the interpreter’s location.

Are you planning an event where not all participants speak the same language? Do you need in-person or virtual interpretation? Joseph Blain Inc. in Montreal offers conference interpreter services with professionals stationed in various major cities in Canada and the U.S. We also offer remote translation, tele-interpreting and video conference interpreting (VCI). Contact us to discuss your needs and ensure your message is understood by everyone.


bottom of page