Calliope and its members all belong to the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), which sets standards in the field of conference interpreting.
Types of interpretation
Calliope’s interpretation services cover all types of interpretation, be it simultaneous, consecutive, whispered, executive or small tour guide system. While we work mostly on location, we can also provide services remotely, through video or webcasting.
Simultaneous interpretation is preferred for many events as it is unobtrusive and speeches are interpreted into various languages in real time. Often incorrectly referred to as ‘simultaneous translation’, simultaneous interpretation requires preparation and trained experts.
In simultaneous mode, the interpreters work in a soundproof booth, preferably with a direct view of the speaker, where they receive the sound feed through headsets and interpret the speech into the target language in real time, with a delay of just a few seconds. Meeting attendees listen to the interpretation through headsets, and can select their language channel of choice. Simultaneous interpretation requires two or three interpreters per target language who work in turns, alternating at regular intervals (usually every 20-30 minutes).
Consecutive interpretation is generally used for smaller, more intimate meetings and diplomatic visits. In this mode of interpretation, speakers deliver their speeches in complete passages or chunks before pausing for interpretation.
The interpreter listens to the speaker and takes notes before delivering interpretation in the target language during the pause. With consecutive interpretation the interpreter and speaker are seated next to one another, reducing equipment needs to microphones and a regular public address system if the meeting is being held in a large room or with a big audience.
This is a form of simultaneous interpretation performed by an interpreter who whispers the interpretation in the ear of one or two individuals. Whispered interpretation only works in a minority of situations since the interpreter’s voice may disturb other participants and, depending on seating, the interpreter may be too far away to hear the speaker properly.
Where a highly qualified interpreter is assigned to shadow a political or business leader during a visit. Executive interpretation ensures that leaders have access to high quality interpretation at all times and at all meetings and events – both formal and informal.
Tour-guide system interpretation
This form of interpretation makes use of a small tour-guide system in situations where delegates and interpreters need to be mobile. The system uses only a radio transmitter and headsets, making it light and easy to carry. This is a good option for events such as site visits but it cannot replace a booth in a conference setting.