What is Remote Simultaneous Interpretation? The Best Language Service You Never Knew You Needed.

What is Remote Simultaneous Interpretation? represented by an interpreter touching her headset

You may never have thought to ask, “What is Remote Simultaneous Interpretation?”  but if so, you’re missing out! This incredibly useful service lets you communicate remotely in real time with speakers of different languages. The professional interpreters at TNOLA Languages have the specialized training and experience to provide this service for your event, meeting, or webinar, but first you need to know what to ask for! This blog post will explain what Remote Simultaneous Interpretation is and how it can help you create a linguistically inclusive environment where everyone can communicate with each other.

Explaining Remote Simultaneous Interpretation

To understand what Remote Simultaneous Interpretation is, it is helpful to break it down into its component parts, addressing each in turn.

What is Interpretation?

Firstly, what is interpretation? When you think of someone helping another person understand what a speaker has said in a different language, you may think of a “translator.” However, a translator actually works with written communication such as legal documents or medical forms. An interpreter, by contrast, works with spoken language, listening to what is said by the first person in what we call the “source language,” and then speaking it to the second person in what we call the “target language.” This interpretation can take place at varied locations such as a doctor’s office, a school, or a conference.

What is Simultaneous Interpretation?

Interpreters perform interpretation in two different ways. One option is consecutive interpretation, in which an interpreter listens to the speaker in the source language, while taking notes, and then speaks the message in the target language. The advantage of this approach is that the additional processing time may help the interpreter to render the message more accurately. However, a big downside to this approach is that there is a waiting period in between the source language speaker’s message and the comprehension by the listener in the target language. Understandably, this makes communication flow somewhat less naturally than it would between two speakers of the same language.

The other option is simultaneous interpretation. As you may have guessed, simultaneous interpretation occurs [almost] simultaneously. The interpreter speaks in the target language at nearly the same time as the source language speaker delivers their message. The skill of simultaneous interpretation is more difficult but the reward is a natural pattern of communication between speakers in different languages.

How Is Remote Simultaneous Interpretation More Challenging Than In-Person Simultaneous Interpretation?

At this stage of answering, “What is Remote Simultaneous Interpretation?” when the word “remote” is added, you may think it simply involves doing the same things a simultaneous interpreter does, except without everyone being in the same physical location. However, that would oversimplify the distinction. Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (also known as RSI) is a highly specialized skill that requires at least two interpreters and more advanced planning than other language services; it may also require additional equipment. Adding the remote component makes a big difference for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, nonverbal cues such as body language help people to understand each other, and these can be less apparent in a remote environment. With less access to this information, RSI requires creative solutions to convey the message across a distance while maintaining the correct tone and meaning. Secondly, when an interpreter is on site with a client, it is often easier for the interpreter to ask questions prior to the beginning of the event and find out information that may prove important for grasping the context of the message. It is important for this communication to take place in advance, even remotely, but it happens more naturally when people are in person. Finally, there is always the potential for technological hiccups when people participate remotely in a conference or other gathering, so interpreters must be adaptable and cool under pressure.

What is Remote Simultaneous Interpretation Useful For?

Remote Simultaneous Interpretation is a great fit for you if you are planning a multilingual, remote event, as described in our detailed guide to the process. Basically, if you plan to have attendees, speakers, guests, participants, etc. in different locations,  and not everyone speaks the same language, this service is for you! Your event will flow better when everyone is on the same page, at the same time, no matter where they are located.

In order to get the full benefit of Remote Simultaneous Interpretation for your meeting, event, or conference, you need to prepare in advance. Firstly, you need to schedule RSI well before the date of your event. Secondly, you should help your interpreters do their best work in the moment, by providing them with any written materials such as programs or the text of planned speeches before the event. Even if things go off script, this preparation will help keep everything running smoothly. You should also make your interpreters aware of any industry or company-specific jargon you anticipate they may hear during the event. While interpreters will research in order to prepare, there may be niche terms that you know will pop up but that may not show up in outside research. While our interpreters are improvisational experts, taking these steps ahead of your event will help them to respond to whatever happens, planned or otherwise.

TNOLA Languages Offers Remote Simultaneous Interpretation by Trained Professionals

TNOLA Languages addresses the challenges of hosting modern events, which often have a remote component, by offering Remote Simultaneous Interpretation to boost linguistic accessibility. After all, what is Remote Simultaneous Interpretation if not the best language service to facilitate groups of people communicating over a distance in real time.

TNOLA Languages is proud to offer this service from our skilled professional interpreters for clients located all over the United States. Although we are based in New Orleans and have a location in Houston, allowing us to serve those localities in person, we can provide remote language services like RSI throughout the country. Reach out to TNOLA Languages for a quote today!