Conference Interpreting

Conferences are held to exchange ideas, educate, and connect people. All of these goals require clear communication to be achieved. To make your conference effective, you need to provide interpreters for those who are not proficient in the speakers’ native language. 

The conference interpreters at TNOLA Languages are trained professionals who are equipped to deliver comprehensive understanding at your conference. We deliver conference interpreters who are experts in your event’s subject matter, so they can interpret both the speaker’s language and their industry terminology.

What is Conference Interpretation?

Interpretation is often used interchangeably with translation, however, they are two distinct services, each requiring specific skills and training. Interpretation is the appropriate service for conferences because it relates to oral communication; interpretation is the act of conveying the meaning from one language into another using spoken language. The emphasis here is on meaning, not syntax. An interpreter must convey the style, cultural context, and tone of the source language speaker to provide a comprehensive understanding. 

Bilingualism is not sufficient to effectively convey full meaning in the conference setting. Only a skilled interpreter is capable of relaying the intent behind language, as well as delivering an engaging interpretation presentation that delights and compels audiences. TNOLA’s specifically assigned interpreters possess the industry knowledge to interpret complex material and obscure acronyms.

Person speaking in front of a crowd in a conference center

Two Types of Conference Interpretation

TNOLA’s conference interpreters tailor their interpretation to meet the specific needs of your event, adapting their hours to your conferences’ schedule. We offer two primary interpretation styles: consecutive and simultaneous. 

Consecutive Interpretation

Interpreters employing the consecutive style will listen to the conference speaker’s presentation until the conference’s speaker pauses, and then they will interpret their meaning into the target language. This collaborative presentation switches every few seconds between the conference speaker and the interpreter to achieve universal understanding. TNOLA’s interpreters approach consecutive interpretation like a partnered dance, working beautifully together with the conference speaker–never upstaging their partner.

How Consecutive Interpretation is Performed

In most cases, consecutive interpreters are given a space to the side of the conference speaker. The conference members who require their interpretation will be seated in the section directly facing the interpreter. To avoid distraction, the interpreter must modulate their voice so that it only reaches their intended audience, while also projecting loudly enough that the target language speakers receive their interpretation

Benefits of Consecutive Interpretation

  • The pauses in the consecutive interpretation style provide the interpreter with the chance to fully embody the source-language speaker’s tone and the color of their language.  
  • TNOLA’s interpreters are engaging public speakers who provide an entertaining presentation for the target language speakers.
  • Being placed in a section with other target-language speakers facilities community among the target language conferences attendees.  

Simultaneous Interpretation

Simultaneous interpretation is a fast-paced interpretation style that enables everyone in the audience to receive and retain the speaker’s information at the same time. This is accomplished by having the interpreters relay the source-language speaker’s presentation while they give it.

How Simultaneous Interpretation Is Performed

To avoid confusion, the interpreters will remain in a booth equipped with a microphone. Conference participants who require the interpretation are given headphones, and they listen to the interpretation while watching the conference’s speaker. TNOLA offers equipment rentals as part of our conference interpreting services packages. The real-time, simultaneous interpretation style can only be performed by trained professionals to achieve accuracy. 

Due to the mental fatigue that occurs during simultaneous interpretation, industry standards require a team of two interpreters per language pair for any simultaneous assignment longer than twenty minutes. Assembling the right team of interpreters can be difficult and time consuming. Contact us today and let us help you plan your next multilingual event.

Benefits of Simultaneous Interpretation

  • Conference attendees are able to sit wherever they like and can mingle with all the other guests.
  • The entire audience receives information at the same time.
  • If the venue has limited stage space, the conference speaker doesn’t have to share the platform.
  • Small earphones can be utilized to provide anonymity to the target language speakers.
View from the audience perspective of presenter speaking in a large conference hall

Booking Conference Interpreters in The Gulf South

Given the complexity of conference interpreting, it is best to allow time to develop the most effective strategy. TNOLA encourages organization’s to book their interpreter when they secure their venue and speakers. However, we work to accommodate all of our clients by providing professional conference interpreting services on any timeline. 

Event planning is always a serious undertaking and the addition of language services can be daunting. Call us today so that TNOLA can help ensure your multilingual event is a success!

Speaker at a conference addressing a large crowd