Interpreting Equipment

Written by Amy Hall
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Interpreting equipment is used to help translate verbal words into the language of choice, either at conferences, international meetings, lectures, tours, trade shows, and more. The need for people who are good at translating and interpreting languages is great. Just because a person can speak two or more languages fluently, does not necessarily make him or her a good interpreter.

The challenge of interpreting is too difficult for many people, who are better at simply translating recorded language into accurate written documents. While these transcription services are helpful, they don't fulfill the need that interpretation equipment can during live meetings. When people are in a live meeting, speaking two or more languages, and they need to understand what is going on right now, at this very moment, interpreting services are necessary.

The Need for Interpreting Equipment

Basically, interpreting equipment consists of a set of transmitters and receivers which allow the interpreters voice to be transmitted to those who are listening in at a meeting and want to understand what is being said in their own language. Attendees wear headphones that are tuned into a specific digital channel that will bring the meeting to their own ears. The interpreters normally sit inside a booth, also called a cabin, that should ideally be sound-proof. If money is an issue, a table-top booth can be used.

Interpreting equipment is necessary for simultaneous interpreting to effectively be carried out. However, if budget constraints don't allow for this type of interpreting, consecutive interpreting can be used. This means that the speaker must pause after each statement, and allow the interpreter to repeat what he or she said. This can slow down the meeting to half time, and it forces every one in the room to listen to the interpretation. Still, it is often used because it is a cost-effective way to provide interpreting services.


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