Which languages, which type of interpretation?

 | Interpretation best practices

Do you need simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpretation, or any other type of interpretation? For how many languages, and which ones?

Presidents of Parliament of the Small European States meeting in Andorra, 26 September 2014. Photo: Eduard Comellas.Selection of languages for interpretation

You’ve worked hard to book exciting, powerful speakers and presenters at your event. They need to be able to fully express their ideas and their intelligence. This is best achieved when they speak in their native language. Journalist and writer Simon Kuper highlights the dangers of non-native speakers presenting in “globish” (global English) in this video. Calliope member Martine Bonadona prefers to call it “non-glish”, because it often results in misunderstanding and communication breakdown. Don’t take any chances on communication at your event. To ensure your panelists deliver their messages with the most impact, let them present in their mother tongue.

Likewise, it is important that audience members listen in a language familiar to them. Listening to a comfortable language will allow them to better absorb the presentations and make the most of the event. Most delegates will understand at least one widely spoken foreign language, even if they wouldn’t feel confident speaking in that language. If you aren’t sure which language(s) your attendees understand, ask in order to determine how many and which languages you need interpreted.

Which type of interpretation?

Did you know there are at least five different types of interpretation? Simultaneous interpreting and consecutive interpreting are most commonly used for conference interpreting, events and meetings. Review the different options on our dedicated page, types of interpretation.

Asymmetrical interpretation

Asymmetrical interpretation is frequently used in multilingual institutions such as the European Parliament where MPs need to be able to speak their own language but can follow the deliberations in another, more widespread language. We are happy to provide asymmetrical interpretation as a possible solution for your event.

This option is suitable for event planners where space and budgets are limited. Asymmetrical interpretation allows for a reduced number of booths as well as fewer interpreters, while providing an additional comfort language to some of the delegates. It can also be a diplomatic solution when a given language is not one of the working languages at an event, but some people (including local authorities) insist on speaking it. Event planners may be able to offer a local language for an opening ceremony, for example, at no additional cost.

The type of interpretation you choose will determine the nature of the flow of communication that your attendees receive, so choose well. Or let the experts take care of it for you. Tell us what your language needs are so that we can help you find the best solution. Use this form to get in touch. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

This is step four of our blog series 7 steps to getting the best conference interpretation solution for your event.

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