My event needs interpretation. What should I do?

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If you are working on a multilingual event, the chances are high that you're looking for interpreting services. Interpretation can bring many benefits - it breaks language barriers, increases the engagement of your audience, and enables efficient communication.



Of course, there are a lot of things to take care of when organizing an event with interpretation services. Challenges range from choosing suitable interpreting equipment to selecting the right language interpreters or the event venue.

In this article, we'll reveal how to organize a multilingual event with interpretation services seamlessly. Let's get started!

Questions to ask before organizing an event with interpretation services

Asking the right questions is critical in making the process easier. We've prepared a list of questions for you to consider when adding interpretation services to your event.

Which type of interpretation do I need?

There are many modes of interpretation that exist, and trying to choose the right one may be a challenge. Currently, the event industry sees simultaneous interpreting mode rising in popularity which is frankly not surprising.

Simultaneous translation can transform either spoken or signed messages by professional interpreters. On top of that, simultaneous interpretation can help you deliver the speech from the foreign source language to the preferred target language instantly, with a minimum delay, in a matter of milliseconds.

Fun fact: if you’re planning a multilingual conference, language service providers might offer conference interpreting services for your consideration. But don’t be surprised! It is just a synonym for simultaneous interpretation.

However, be aware that language interpreters do not provide translation services. Interpretation services rely on spoken language while translators work with written language.

What is the setup of my event?

Envision your event. What do you see? An in-person business meeting, a virtual conference, a hybrid governmental summit, a series of community events, or maybe a press conference happening online. The opportunities are endless!

To determine the setup of your event, you can ask yourself:

  • Where will my audience and speaker be located? At the venue or in a foreign country - at home, or both - on-site and connected virtually.
  • Where will my interpreters work? In the interpreter’s booths at the venue, at home using remote simultaneous interpretation consoles, or both - on-site and connected virtually.

Finding accurate answers to these questions will help you better organize the setup of your event. The equipment required for an in-person event is drastically different from an online meeting.

For instance, an in-person interpreter requires traditional hardware interpreting consoles and soundproof interpreting booths to interpret successfully.

On the contrary, remote simultaneous interpreters need a dedicated laptop, Internet access, and special software to deliver interpretation services from home.

Additional way to simplify the event organization process

If you want to simplify the event preparation process, consider organizing an event where each language interpreter works remotely.

Providers for remote simultaneous interpretation services (RSI providers), such as Interactio, will support you in each step of event management - connecting you with the best certified interpreters and offering technical support during the meeting.

How many different languages will I need?

Knowing exactly which and how many languages you need interpretation in is crucial to get the best interpreters team.

Understanding the importance of the interpreter's location

If you plan on having tens of languages interpreted by on-site interpreters, ensure that the venue has the required space and infrastructure for the interpreters’ booths.

Also, remember that interpreters can’t keep working for hours without a break. Each language pair needs at least two interpreters to ensure safe working conditions for language professionals and accurate interpretation services for listeners.

If you are organizing an event on-site, keep in mind that you might not find interpreters for specific languages in your area. By choosing to work with remote simultaneous interpreters, you can overcome the limitations of geographical location.

In remote interpreting, there is no need to arrange travel tickets and accommodation for interpreters from other countries as language professionals work from the comfort of their homes.

What’s more, RSI providers can expand your potential reach by matching you with the right interpreters from their databases. For example, Interactio works with a large freelance community of certified interpreters - all of whom are technically trained to use the Interactio interpreters console.

How many attendees do you expect?

If you expect thousands of participants, renting equipment required for interpretation services can be a money-waster.

Remote simultaneous interpretation solutions help you save cost and time, especially when it’s hard to determine the exact number of attendees. There are only a few requirements for participants to receive interpretation - Internet, laptop, and headphones. Nearly everyone has that, so it doesn’t matter how many people will attend- everyone will be able to receive high-quality interpretation services.

Congratulations, you’re one step closer to having an amazing multilingual experience!

3 bonus tips to consider when preparing for your first event with interpretation services

Now that you know the essentials of what to consider before planning a multilingual event with interpreting services let's get to some useful tips that'll make your preparation process even easier.

Start early to avoid a hectic event preparation process

As with many other things in life, getting an early start in event preparation is important. Even if your event is months away, it may take some time to confirm the event setup, pick the right language services, and find a professional interpreter who specializes in your industry.

Interpretation experience, industry affiliations, budget considerations, dialects, time zones, and many other factors come into play before finding the best match for your meeting. Check out how to find the right interpreter for your event in more detail.

Whether you decide to handle your event preparation in-house, turn to other language services and their providers (LSPs), or use services of remote simultaneous interpretation companies - it can never be too early to start organizing your event.

Set your speakers up for success

Most speakers are already familiar with basic speech etiquette during events and presentations, but interpretation services bring a few more rules to the table.

Be mindful of how fast you speak. Even professional interpreters will have a hard time catching every word of your speech if you speak too quickly. Industry research shows that the optimal speed of words per minute (wpm) in the English language is 100-120 words. This number can differ depending on the language.

For example, Chinese speakers should aim for 150-180 wpm in comparison to the standard 100-120 wpm in English. The general rule for speakers is to be mindful of the interpreter. As long as we remember there’s a person listening to our speech and interpreting it live, we adjust accordingly.

If the delivery of the speech turns out to be a bit too fast, something as simple as agreeing upon a specific sign can solve the problem. And if you’re using an RSI platform such as Interactio, the moderator has the ability to notify the presenter and request a slower pace without disrupting the flow of the event.

Speakers should also avoid using slang or metaphors that only apply to their native spoken language. The interpreters can convey the literal meaning of the phrase, but the international audiences might have problems understanding the core point without the cultural context.

Industry-specific jargon, on the other hand, is quite common. For precise interpretation, consider working with professional interpreters specialized in the speaker’s field.

Another important task on your to-do list is to inform the speakers about the importance of sending materials they plan to use during the speech to the interpreters in advance.

Prepare communication materials for your audience in multiple languages

If you expect a multilingual audience at your event, don’t dismiss the importance of communication materials in multiple languages. The easier access to the event information - the higher the engagement.

Remember, your audience will inevitably have different proficiency levels in your event’s main language. Prevent potential misunderstandings by providing written materials in various languages.

If you’re planning to use an RSI solution, you can request participant guidelines and user instructions for connection in any target language you need.

Not sure what additional details should be included in the materials? We've got you covered:

  1. Provide general information about access to interpretation services.
  2. Don’t forget to inform your audience about the necessary equipment and network requirements for tuning in.
  3. Provide information about how to log in and basic instructions on how to use the platform.

You are ready to implement interpreting services!

If you've taken all of these fundamentals and bonus tips into consideration - you already have a strong understanding of how you can organize a multilingual event.

There are no difficult legal proceedings, and with the right preparation, interpreting services are here to make a change in the event industry.

Check out our remote simultaneous interpretation solutions to learn more, and let’s get in touch!  


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Published on

Aug 24, 2021

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