8 critical success factors for simultaneous interpretation

A quick guide for international parliaments and institutions

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Most international parliaments and institutions (such as for instance the European Union and the United Nations) have multilingualism at the very heart of their democratic meeting policies. The principle is, that each individual meeting participant can listen and speak in their own native language, or at the very least in a language they master. From our extensive experience as a leading supplier of interpretation solutions, we give you 8 critical success factors to adequately facilitate simultaneous interpretation during international meetings and conferences.

 

1. Capacity

The number of supported meeting languages varies from institution to institution. The EU, for instance, has 23 official languages and will support all of these in most parliament and commission meetings. Other international institutions opt for the simultaneous translation from and/or to less (6-10 languages is a common average) or more (up to 40) languages. Ideally, the number of interpreter stations (desks and booths) is tailored to the specific needs and purposes of the room and the institution. Televic has installations in place that go up to 80 interpretation booths and 1,200 microphone stations, supporting up to 2,200 seats thanks to language selection buttons.

 

2. Flexibility and scalability

It goes without saying that needs in terms of capacity can change over time or due to specific circumstances. The pandemic has been an obvious example. Travel bans, social distancing not allowing 2 or 3 interpreters to work in the same booth, the implementation of hybrid meetings, … Lots of unforeseen measures have made the need very clear of have a flexible and scalable system in place. Together with our customers such as the European Parliament, Televic has risen to the challenge: our simultaneous interpretation systems have proven their ability to swiftly adapt with flexible solutions such as interconnected booths, remote simultaneous translation, temporary additional booths outside the room, etc.

3. Certification

Especially for official government institutions, product certification is often seen as an important factor when choosing hardware and/or software solutions for simultaneous interpretation. Rightfully so. Televic’s Lingua Interpreter Desk is fully ISO 20109:2016-compliant, not just for the sake of it but because it is an award-winning device focused on user-centered design, comfort and ease of use. User feedback has shown that interpreters suffer less fatigue when working on a Televic Lingua ID interpreter desk.

 

4. Audio quality

One of – or probably even the most – determining factors for successful simultaneous interpretation is the audio quality. Every meeting participant, and even more importantly so: every interpreter, needs crystal clear audio to fully understand every word and every nuance of what is being said in the meeting. Not only the accuracy of the translation, but also the interpreters’ ability to stay fit and focused largely depends on the quality of the audio signal.

 

5. Ease of use

Televic’s interpreter desks have everything on board to make an interpreter’s job easier. The improved ergonomics, from the viewing angle to the button placement, make it more comfortable to work for longer periods. Tactile buttons with braille indicators and even audible feedback give every interpreter the tools they need to perform. And a clear and flexible user interface shows all information at a glance.

6. Visualization of the workflow

For the development of our newest-generation interpreter desks, Televic worked together with the interpreters themselves. Based on user feedback workshops, we tailored the devices’ functionalities to what interpreters need to perform at their best. The result is a new way of visualizing the interpreters’ workflow, with a strong focus on quality control in terms of source and target languages.

 

7. Language distribution

An adequate simultaneous interpretation solution for your conferencing system of course foresees in the distribution of the translations from the interpretation booths to the listening stations in the room. Televic has mastered the art of doing this in an unlimited number of languages, with high-quality audio and no delay. Our smart technology enables both wired distribution for fixed installations, and wireless infrared distribution when a flexible or temporary solution is needed.

 

8. Redundancy

Our experts can provide tailor-made advice to build redundancy into the core of your conferencing and/or simultaneous translation system. From pre-wired fallback equipment to smart additional connections to the central meeting management unit: anything can be pre-configured to make sure that not even the smallest equipment failure will prevent your important meetings from taking place.

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