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Interpretation – how does it work?

Man with headphones listening to simultaneous interpreter

The two main types of interpretation are:


Simultaneous interpretation provided from an interpretation booth

In this case, a team of interpreters work in a soundproof booth. The interpreters hear what is said in the room in their headphones and interpret it instantaneously. As a result, the participants can follow what is being said in the room perfectly, but in their own language.

Remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI)

The number of remote simultaneous interpretation events has skyrocketed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Find out more about this form of simultaneous interpretation on our dedicated page on RSI.

Simultaneous interpretation without an interpretation booth (whispered interpretation, chuchotage)

The interpreter is located among the participants and interprets the speaker’s words, at the same time as he speaks, into the ear of a maximum of two listeners. If there are more than two listeners, a tour guide-type audio set is used: the interpreter speaks into a microphone and the listeners receive the interpretation through headphones.


The interpreter is located in the room. He/she listens to the speaker and takes notes, using a method particular to interpreters. The interpreter then interprets what has been said into the other language. The speaker and interpreter take turns to speak.


Congrestolken also provides experienced sign language interpreters for meetings and conferences.

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