SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETING EQUIPMENT: HIRE, SUPPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Since 2008, Studio Moretto Group has been creating audiovisual installations for events and is specialized in the supply of simultaneous interpreting equipment, also known as ‘conference systems’.

Simultaneous interpreting consists of real time oral translation without interrupting the speaker. This special technique requires interpreters to use both lobes of the brain to perform simultaneously the processes of listening, understanding, translation and voice production, in conditions of total concentration, working inside special soundproof booths and using systems for listening through headsets, through which they hear the speaker clearly and securely.

The transmission of simultaneous interpreting to the audience in the dining room or even to an audience connected remotely, is possible today using modern interpreting systems and specific audio-visual installations: precise technical preparatory consultations, the use of specific equipment and the support of expert technicians and interpreters are the value that Studio Moretto Group offers to its customers in Italy and abroad.

 

  • Hire of simultaneous interpreting systems.
  • Technical services for simultaneous interpreting abroad, using local personnel or other trusted staff in transfer.
  • Special installations for simultaneous interpreting at conferences in the historical locations, hampered by architectural constraints or difficult access.
  • Solutions for multilingual simultaneous interpreting systems, useful when the translation is required simultaneously from and to multiple languages.
  • Simultaneous video conferencing interpretation systems and translation streaming.
  • Solutions for telephone interpreting.
  • Mobile simultaneous interpreting, for guided tours, using portable simultaneous interpreting systems known as bidules or infoports.

 

In addition to technical equipment, Studio Moretto Group provides qualified interpreters with several years’ experience: from official parliamentary interpreters to professionals specifically trained for business conventions, press conferences, live television or work meetings using simultaneous and consecutive interpreting and chuchotage.

DESCRIPTION OF A TRADITIONAL SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETING SYSTEM

Simultaneous interpreting systems can be analog (lower performance) oidigital infra-red, which offers superior audio quality, free from radio frequency interference in the headset. The interpreting system includes the following components:

SOUNDPROOF BOOTH

This facilitates the concentration of the interpreter who sits inside and prevents his voice disturbing the guests in the hall. It is fitted with a front glass window, ventilation system, internal desk and seats for the the interpreters. Install one booth for each translation language. We recommend that the cabins be positioned in such a way that the interpreters can see the speaker and the projector screen; otherwise, it is advised to install an internal monitor. For use in contexts with particular requirements in terms of ergonomics, quality and safety, please refer to the conditions established by the ISO 2603 standard.

CONSOLES

These are the real interpreting systems and are positioned in front of each interpreter. The interpreter listens to the speaker through special headphones and translates into the microphone of his/her transmitter. Each guest is provided with a receiver, i.e. a set of headphones through which they hear the translation in real time.

TRANSMITTERS

The infrared signal transmitters transmit the signal of the translation from the control room to receivers that have been handed out to the audience. These are positioned every 10-15 metres and preferably on both sides of the room.

RECEIVERS

The infrared receivers, fitted with headphones, are handed out to the audience for listening to the translation. One receiver must be provided for every guest who listens to the translation. We recommend setting up a table for distributing the receivers and for placing the technical cases for storing and charging replacement receivers or those yet to be handed out. Organize a service at the conference reception for the distribution and collection of the receivers.

MICROPHONES

Provide fixed microphones for speakers and one wireless hand-held microphone for questions from the audience. Their audio signal must always reach the interpreters’ receivers so that they can hear both the voice of speakers and questions from the audience microphone.

CONTROL ROOM

The hall technician controls the correct transmission of the signal of translation through the control unit installed in the Control Room.

HALL TECHNICIAN, PROVIDED BY SMG

We recommend taking advantage of support from one of our expert technicians or, for big events, one of our technical teams. Technical support guarantees the presence of expert technicians who will perform the following tasks:

  • Carry out a technical inspections to check the conformity of the building that will host the event, identify any systems or structures that could interfere with the smooth running of the simultaneous interpreting service and find the necessary solutions. If a physical inspection is not possible, it is essential that the customer put the technician of the venue with the technicians at SMG.
  • Installing, setting up and testing the simultaneous interpreting system before the event: the time of installation and connecting up the conference systems at the venue must be agreed with SMG. We strongly recommended that this is done well in advance, in order to perform the operating test and be able to resolve in good time any technical issues identified in the room in which the event will be held: indeed, clients are warned that, unfortunately, many locations and venues often offer infrastructures that are technically inadequate and it is important to check them in advance.
  • Monitoring the correct operation of the systems during the event and acting in the event of malfunctions or unforeseen occurrences: clients must be aware of the need for adequate technical supervision during the course of the work because it depends on the success of the service, so that our technicians are able both to intervene to solve system problems and to act as a control unit, for example to control the translation transmission volume and all the audio-video functions assigned to them at SMG.
  • Assisting clients in handing out/collecting the receivers (where agreed): handing out the receivers (headsets) to the audience and collecting them at the end of the conference is an operation that takes time and should not be entrusted to the interpreter, since it would prevent him/her from performing the translation service. Moreover, given that the client is liable for any receivers that are damaged or not returned by guests, we recommend that you assign a member of your staff to this operation; alternatively, in the case of events that are not very demanding, the SMG Hall Technician could perform this task, but this must be expressly agreed when the service is ordered. If requested, SMG can provide a quote for providing a hostess or steward to hand out/collect the receivers.

THE RELAY SYSTEM

The simultaneous interpreting system must have a relay function in the following cases:

  • If the client requests simultaneous interpreting that does not include the official language of the country where the conference is held (e.g. a request to interpret from Russian to Chinese in Italy), it will be difficult to find these interpreters in that country and we will need to transfer them from abroad, with high travel costs, or we may use the relay system by creating a bridge using an intermediate language (if we use Italian as the relay language, one interpreter translates from Russian into Italian and a second from Italian to Chinese).
  • This system is also used when the interpreters of one booth must listen to the translation of interpreters in another booth who, for example, translate a question from a guest in the audience speaking in their native language (the English booth listens to the translation of a question in French provided by French booth).

TOUR GUIDES AND BIDULES

As an alternative to traditional simultaneous interpreting systems, there are also lightweight radio systems (also called tour guides or Infoports orbidules) that are less expensive than infrared digital systems. These translation devices can be carried by the interpreter on the move, such as for guided tours of museums. They can also be used inside a soundproof booth, fitting the interpreter with a lavalier microphone instead of using a console and providing appropriate headphones through which he/she receives the audio from the speakers and questions from the audience. They have the following drawbacks:

  • Limited signal transmission: generally, the listeners must not be further than 30-40 metres away from the interpreter and the signal must not be blocked by physical obstacles, such as a wall between the interpreter and the listeners, or by other transmissions on the same radio frequency. For this reason, any client wireless microphones will be set to the free channels.
  • They only offer one secure channel: the light systems for simultaneous interpreting offer even up to 16 channels but each transmitter allows the simultaneous translation of only one language at a time. The use of multiple transmitters by multiple interpreters would allow the translation into different languages but this solution must be checked carefully from time to time, as it may generate interference.

 

As with the traditional simultaneous interpreting systems described above, the use of the lightweight tour guide systems requires the following the same precautions:

  • The client must devote a member of staff to the handing out and collection of receivers to/from the audience, or the client can agree with SMG for this oepration to be performed by the SMG technician or interpreter (if this will not distract them from their work) or by a hostess that SMG can provide on request.
  • The presence of a technician to provide support in using the tour guide systemand handle any technical requests from the audience may be required, at a fee, and is opportune for important and formal events, where there is the desire to avoid interruptions and provide the best support for guests.

REQUEST A CONSULTATION

Are you looking to organize an event and you need technical support for the audio-video facilities? Are you looking for a simultaneous interpreting conference system? Request a free consultation by clicking here: one of our operators will get in touch to answer all your questions!

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