Standardized booths for simultaneous interpretation

 | Interpretation best practices

Different types of equipment are required for different interpretation scenarios. Below is a checklist to help you meet the equipment requirements for simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpretation and other types of interpretation.  

Simultaneous interpretation

  1. Standardized booths:

Booths are needed for simultaneous interpretation. Whether built-in or mobile versions, these booths must meet certain technical requirements.

ISO standards exist for built-in booths (ISO 2603) and mobile booths (ISO 4043). Refer to the following standards before installing built-in booths, and always demand booths that comply with these standards:

  • Number: one booth per active language
  • Size: a minimum width of 1.6 metres for mobile booths and 2.5 metres for built-in booths
  • Location: a maximum distance of 30 meters from the speakers or screen
  • Visibility: non-reflective glass on front and sides of the booth and a good view of speakers and projection screens
  • Sufficient light, air, sound: booths must be equipped with good lighting, ventilation, soundproofing
  • Equipment: one console, headset and lamp per interpreter

Standardized mobile booths like these are located within 30 meters of speakers or screens for simultaneous interpretation.

  1. Conference rooms:

Conference rooms must be equipped with suitable audio equipment compatible with your simultaneous interpretation materials. You will need the following:

  • Public address system (with loud speakers)*
  • Microphones for chair persons
  • Microphones for delegates
  • Tie-clip microphone (for speaker) and handheld microphone (for questions from the floor)
  • Headsets: each participant, including native speakers of the key conference language, must have a set of headphones. 

* We recommend sourcing the public address system and interpreting equipment from the same supplier to ensure the systems are compatible.

 Each participant needs a headset to tune into the language of their choice during simultaneous interpretation

Consecutive interpretation

The interpreter is on the stage/podium and works without a booth. A sound system (microphone and loud speakers) may be useful in some cases.

Tour-guide system interpretation

When delegates and interpreters are on-the-go, such as for site visits, a radio transmitter and headsets are needed. This works well for some events, but cannot replace a standardized booth in a conference setting.

We have access to an extensive network of reliable equipment providers around the world and are happy to help you find one.

Got an idea of what you need, but still want to talk it through with an expert? Get in touch and we’ll help guide you through your next steps.

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