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How does the simultaneous translation work and which equipment is used?

Atualizado: 12 de Set de 2019

People frequently ask about simultaneous translation and if it is the same as consecutive translation. Actually, although these two modes of translation are used in events, there are many differences between them. The main difference is that simultaneous translations require the use of equipment, while consecutive translations need no equipment, only the figure of a translator/interpreter who stands next to the speaker or presenter and translates the message in parts, always after the speaker, in a stop-start mode. Because of that, the two persons never speak at the same time, and consequently, this takes approximately twice the time forecast and does not enable a natural fluency in one presentation.



On the other hand, simultaneous translation promotes the communication between the speaker and the audience in a continuous and natural way. Thus, all participants use headphones and listen to the translation; furthermore, the lecture can be expressed in different languages with one translator for each of them. Therefore, simultaneous translation enables the communication by a multilingual public, being quite adequate to events such as lectures, courses, workshops, congresses and symposiums. It enables the translation of multi-media materials and does not interfere in the event duration, since the interpreter speaks at the same as the lecturer.


Simultaneous translation requires the use of specific equipment: the interpreters remain in a sound cabin where they convey the contents to the audience who use receivers connected to headsets. ProWords has all the equipment required for cabins and receivers – transmitters and sound devices = in addition to the specialized technical staff to operate the instruments. As this is an intense work requiring constant attention and with few breaks, simultaneous translations are usually made by two interpreters who take turns during a six-hour event, for example.


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