Interpreting: Simply Listen and Understand

Interpreting is the oral translation of a speech into one or several languages – and part of Gemino’s service.
In this article we will give an overview of the different types of interpreting and answer frequent questions on interpreting.

There are 4 different types of interpreting

Simultaneous Interpreting
Interpreters render the spoken word in real time from a soundproof booth. Participants listen to the interpretation via headphones.

Consecutive Interpreting
Interpreters render the spoken word after the speaker has finished speaking. To do this, they listen to the speaker while taking notes of the speech and then render their interpretation in another language. Consecutive interpretation is usually delivered in segments of 5–10 minutes.

Chuchotage with Technical Support
The interpreters sit in the conference room and render the spoken word in real time with the help of portable equipment. Participants listen to the interpretation via headphones.

Chuchotage without Technical Support
The interpreters render the spoken word in real time while sitting between two or a maximum of three participants who require interpretation.

Here you can download an overview of the different types of interpretation.

What is the difference between translation and interpreting?

The interpreter’s job is to enable oral communication between people who would not understand each other without interpretation. Interpreters render a message from one language into another and not just mere words. Non-verbal elements such as gestures, thought patterns, cultural practices etc. play just as an important role as the spoken language. Unlike translators, interpreters work directly and interactively with speakers and listeners.

Why do I usually always need two interpreters for my meeting?

Interpreting requires an uninterrupted high level of concentration. That is why interpreters almost always work in twos per language combination; for larger meetings interpreters even work in teams of three. They work in a team and alternate every 30 minutes. However, the interpreter who is not interpreting does not take a break, but instead continues to assist his/her colleague who is interpreting.
In exceptional cases interpreters can work alone. In this case the event may not last longer than two hours.

How long does an interpreter work?

Interpreting is a very demanding activity and requires a high level of concentration. That is why you must schedule plenty of breaks so that the interpreters can rest and consistently provide high quality interpretation throughout the entire assignment. Usually an interpreter takes a break of 90 minutes every 3 hours.

Why do I need to send information material to the interpreters?

Good preparation is key for a successful interpretation. Therefore, before the interpreting assignment we ask for information by means of a questionnaire.
References relevant to the meeting and preparatory materials, such as an agenda, presentations, background information etc. are extremely important to the interpreters. They can read up on the subject in advance and therefore use corporate terminology. Needless to say, interpreters will handle all documents confidentially.

How much do interpreters cost?

The pricing system for interpretation depends on several factors. Furthermore, there are costs which do not apply to translation services. Among other aspects, attention should be paid to:

Short-term nature
The further ahead you plan an interpreter assignment, the greater the choice of available interpreters you will have. Good and affordable interpreters are usually booked up early.

Language combination
The more unusual the requested languages are, the more costly it will be to use interpreters.

Subject area
The more technical or complex the subject of the meeting is, the more expensive the interpreting assignment will be because, among other things, preparation time is reflected in the interpreter’s daily rate.

Travel costs are borne by the customer. These costs include not only travel expenses for the journey to and from the event but also downtime while travelling. In addition, these costs include accommodation and catering.

Technical equipment
The hiring of interpreting equipment including delivery and collection is quoted separately. Prices vary between the different technical possibilities.

Why should you employ a service provider instead of just doing it yourself?

Organizing an interpreter assignment means, among other things:

  • forming a decision about interpreting equipment
  • recruiting interpreters who work with the desired language combination(s) and are well-versed in the specific field
  • booking the right equipment and organizing delivery, on-site installation and collection
  • coordinating all participants

Avoid the effort and concentrate on your event and its participants. We will gladly take care of the linguistic success of your event.