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Translation: What Is Simultaneous Interpretation?

Simultaneous Interpretation Montreal

Not everyone is aware of the nuances between the professions of translator and interpreter. To find out, read this blog post prepared by the team at Joseph Blain Inc. - a network of interpreters and translation experts serving Montreal and many other major cities in North America.

What Is the Difference Between Translation and Interpretation? Basic translation involves taking a text in one language and reproducing it in another language through writing. Interpreting, on the other hand, is a form of translation that is done orally. In short, the translator translates in writing, and the interpreter translates orally. What is Simultaneous Interpretation? Simultaneous interpretation is a handy translation technique for meetings or conferences where the participants speak different languages. This process allows the audience to understand the speakers' speeches or makes it possible to exchange ideas between the parties involved. To do his job, the interpreter sits in an isolated location, usually soundproofed and with a view over those speaking. Equipped with headphones and a microphone, the interpreter listens attentively to the speaker and repeats the words heard in the language of the translation, all within a brief period (a delay of only a few seconds), hence the expression "simultaneous interpretation". For their part, the participants in the meeting hear the interpreter's voice through their headphones. What are the Qualities of a Simultaneous Interpretation Specialist? Not everyone can be a simultaneous interpreter! This profession requires, among other things, a thorough knowledge of the source and target languages and the ability to follow current events religiously (especially concerning international politics). At Joseph Blain Inc. we select interpreters with the following essential qualities:

  • Good diction;

  • Superior concentration skills;

  • Discipline;

  • Excellent memory;

  • Impartiality;

  • Intuition;

  • Punctuality;

  • Broad general knowledge;

  • Pleasant voice.

For your meetings, training or conferences involving participants speaking Arabic, Spanish, English, Portuguese, German or any other foreign language, trust our expertise. Need an interpreter at the last minute? No problem! We are used to situations that require a quick response. Quality language services within your reach! At Joseph Blain Inc., our interpreters are experienced professionals who use state-of-the-art tools. Contact us to learn more about our interpretation services (simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpretation, multilingual communications and typing) or request a quote!


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