What is simultaneous translation and how does it work? For those who need to organize an event, a congress, remote interpretation, a conference or a large meeting  for the first time with the participation of foreign speakers, this person will most probably search the internet for translation services or for an interpreter.It does not take long to come across various categories, such as simultaneous or consecutive translation, remote simultaneous interpretation (better known as RSI) , sworn translators, whispering techniques and so on. For those who need to contract translation or interpreting services, many questions arise. In this article you will understand what simultaneous translation is. Are you unsure as to which type of translation you should hire? Read our article and learn more about this topic.

What simultaneous translation is and how it works

Thanks to simultaneous translation, it is possible to overcome barriers of communication between large and small groups of people who speak different languages. Simultaneous translation is the art of translating orally – in real time –  into the language of one or more receivers, that is, the listeners.

It is also known as conference interpreting.

This ability is acquired through many years of studying a language, the pronunciation and different communication techniques; in order to assure the success of your event it is important that the translation professional be highly qualified.

How Simultaneous Translation Works

Whoever works as a simultaneous interpreter suffers a lot of mental wear and tear in the translation process, because it takes a high level of skill to listen to the speaker, process speech and communication, mentally translate and then retransmit what was just said. It’s not easy at all. Besides the professional having good qualifications, the use of technology is crucial for a good service.

Features used in simultaneous translation:

• Soundproof  booth;
• Transmitters (from the speaker to the translator and from the translator to the listeners)
• Wireless translation receivers
• Headphones and microphones

Simultaneous Translation Brazil

A soundproof booth

It is important for the professional translator because the booth, besides isolating external noises, provides a good view of the event and its participants, and the interpreter is able to observe the gesticulations and body language of the speaker plus other details that are part of the methodology of an interpreter.


The quality of the interpreting service is directly related to technological effectiveness. That is why it is very important for those who hire an interpreter, to analyse the quality of the equipment they are contracting.

Portable mini equipment for simultaneous interpreting

Our company  rents out portable mini equipment  with receivers, microphones, wireless transmitters and chargers, suitable for events or meetings with up to 40 people. In this case you do not need a booth because the interpreter sits in a corner of the room and speaks into a simple wireless transmitter  with  an embedded microphone. The listeners use a headset over one ear connected to the receiver with a short wire.

Use of equipment; interpreters working  in a booth – how this works

Interpreting in a soundproof booth in Brazil

Interpreting in a soundproof booth in Brazil

Inside a soundproof booth the interpreters speak into a microphone that will transmit, according to the setting of the correct channels,  into the desired language (for example, if the audience is made up of Brazilians, the translation will be  into Brazilian Portuguese) what the speaker  says in the other language.

What is said by the interpreters is transmitted to a translation center, and what the speaker says  also comes to the interpreters through this central piece of equipment. It is what connects interpreters, lecturers and participants. When the lecturer speaks, the interpreter listens through headphones and translates simultaneously using the microphone. The interpretation goes through a transmitter that passes it on to the translation receivers that the participants are using.

Hire simultaneous translation

When did simultaneous translation services begin?

Historical records show us that simultaneous  translation was used for the first time in an organized way, during the first Nazi trials after World War Intérprete in Nuremberg, Germany. This was because trial participants were of multiple nationalities and communication was a challenge. But at first it was not simultaneous, but consecutive translation, where the interpreter listens to the speaker and after a few seconds translates what was said.

However, after several sessions, more people became involved, with more languages ​​and the sessions were  lasting longer because of the consecutive translation. It was then that simultaneous translation was adopted, grew and is widely used today.

The fact is, that over the years, simultaneous translation has consistently been helping companies and people to overcome language barriers.

What is consecutive translation?

Consecutive translation takes longer as it divides a person’s dialogue into parts; after a few moments the translation takes place. Often while the speaker speaks, the interpreter takes notes and after a certain interval of time, translates to the participants. This mode is suitable for meetings with few participants, for example.

Now that you have a good idea of how consecutive and simultaneous translation works, it is certainly a good  time to hire interpreters if you are responsible for organising congresses, events, business meetings in your company. Contact us. This is our Facebook page, Intérprete

Virtual Simultaneous translation Portuguese 

After the Covid-19 pandemic, remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) has become more and more popular; we have become specialists in this type of online translation as well, using zoom and other specific platforms such as Kudo, Interprenet and others.