Simultaneous interpreting picks up digital allies

July 8, 2024

Digital transformations that occurred during and after the pandemic brought significant advances for the simultaneous interpreting of a wide range of events.

Popularly known as “simultaneous translation,” this service has reaped new tools and ways of execution with the development of digital technology.

What is simultaneous interpreting?

Simultaneous interpreting is a type of translation that takes place at the same time as the speech is delivered.

Interpreters translate messages rather than words so that listeners can understand and, above all, follow the speaker’s reasoning and correctly internalize the content of the target language.

To do so, interpreters must have a command of the languages concerned, the sender and recipient, the culture, and language intonation, which makes them multidisciplinary professionals.

This constant linguistic challenge demands full concentration and preparation from interpreters, who often work for long periods and may need to take turns depending on the duration of each event.


The equipment required for simultaneous interpreting is scaled according to the event’s size and location.

The technical team assesses the venue and settles on the apparatus to be used by interpreters and attendees. This may be a booth for the interpreters and headsets for the attendees.

When interpretation is provided for only one or two participants of a meeting or visit, whispered simultaneous interpreting can be useful, in which the interpreter works directly with the foreign participant(s) in the conversation.

The most common types of equipment include:

  • Booths – The most common system in large multilingual conferences and meetings. It requires increased planning and greater availability of professionals, such as sound technicians, editors, and interpreters. Booths must be entirely soundproof;
  • Portable booths – For seminars, workshops, and trade shows. Just like stationary booths, these need to fulfill technical requirements and be easy to assemble and dismantle at the end of the event;
  • Infoport – A mobile system for simultaneous interpreting for small groups and guided tours. The case features a microphone for the translator and headphones for the participants, who can listen to the interpretation in real-time. This has always been one of the most cost-effective options.

Conference platforms

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Zaum Langs developed a new process to meet the growing demand for online events.

Using digital conferencing platforms, Zaum Langs provided simultaneous interpreting services for several international events, where interpreters would translate, and attendees would listen to the interpretation directly from their smartphones or tablets while watching the event through Zoom, Teams, Webex, YouTube, or other platforms.

With the return of in-person events and leveraging the lessons learned, Zaum Langs further improved its processes to offer its clients a hybrid format of simultaneous translations, where both remote and in-person audiences receive the service simultaneously.

This allows translation professionals to work directly in the digital space for webinars, training sessions, videoconferences, lectures, or meetings, fostering communication between individuals from different countries and languages.

In addition to full command of the languages concerned, event coordinators must have technical expertise in the software and platform they use, the interpreters, and online participants.

This means coordinators must be able to manage the connection and the audiovisual equipment provided for the event to guide speakers and organizers and ensure the quality of the translation service and, therefore, the success of the videoconference.

New event formats

The digital transformations of recent years have enabled the accomplishment of hybrid events, i.e., with offline and online participants. This has broadened the scope and capacity of events, ensuring more excellent attendance of audiences from different locations.

In addition, it cuts production and attendance costs, as attendees no longer need to travel – reducing transportation, accommodation, and food investments.

For the organizers, this model allows for a more effective sizing of event areas and the presence of speakers from any country or region, who can share their knowledge with on-site participants via screens set up at the event site and with remote attendees via digital devices.

Zaum Langs relies on highly trained professionals for simultaneous interpreting services in digital platforms to ensure translation reliability and efficiency, providing excellent results for most corporate event formats.

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