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Learning to Be a Simultaneous Interpreter

simultaneous interpreting
simultaneous interpreting

There are a number of things that you need to consider when you are learning to be a simultaneous interpreter. These include things like safety, concentration and complex cognitive skills.

By looking at these factors, you can see how to learn to be a better simultaneous interpreter.


Simultaneous interpreting is a complex task that requires a high degree of concentration and involves many microtasks. It requires the simultaneous execution of various processes including speech production, comprehension, translation, and self-monitoring. During the task, an interpreter must translate into one language while delivering a message in a second, and then recall terminology, context, and background knowledge. In addition to speaking and listening, an interpreter must ensure that the interpreted information is accurate and coherent.

Recent studies have used brain-imaging technologies to investigate the cerebral basis of simultaneous interpreting. They have shown that the task requires multiple cognitive functions and a large range of brain regions. Although previous investigations have used behavioural data to study the task, recent studies have focused on the neurobiology of the brain in the context of simultaneous interpreting.

Studies have shown that experienced simultaneous interpreters experience less subjective workload during the interpreting task. However, these findings may be limited by the use of subjective measures. These methods are susceptible to bias, which could have influenced the results.

Elmer and colleagues investigated the effects of simultaneous interpreting on brain structure. They measured the white matter fractional anisotropy of several regions, which they found to be lower in professional interpreters. This might suggest changes in sensory-motor coupling in speech production. The authors also reported that the volume of several regions decreased after training.

Other studies have demonstrated that extensive training reduces neural load. These studies have reported decreases in cortical volumes in pianists, ballet dancers, and skilled interpreters.

Elmer, Klein, and colleagues also compared multilinguals with professional interpreters. They observed a negative correlation between the volume of the white matter and the volume of the left inferior frontal cortex. A third study involved two groups of individuals with limited experience in simultaneous interpreting.

The study also addressed the question of conscious monitoring of attention. While the listening condition elicited greater theta power than the interpreting condition, it was perceived as a similarly work-inducing task. Theta power is a measure of the amount of effort required to perform a task.

As a result, the authors propose a model for the brain involved in simultaneous interpreting. This includes the premotor cortex and the cerebellum, which are known to be important in language processing.


Simultaneous interpretation is a technology that allows delegates to receive speech in their own language, thereby improving the experience of attending a conference. It is a process of translating a speech without interrupting the speaker’s flow. This service is used in conferences, trainings, and other large events where it is advantageous to allow a wide variety of participants to express themselves in their native language.

For instance, a focus group needs to conduct a briefing to explain the study’s objectives. The interpreter needs to be aware of the most appropriate terminology to convey the meaning of the message. In addition, he must be open to suggestions from the moderator.

The interpreter wears a headset and listens to the speech of the speaker. He then provides the translation to the audience. To do this, he must have excellent language skills. He must also have a high level of concentration and be able to cope with pressure.

Simultaneous interpretation can be a challenging task. But with the right approach, the interpreter can deliver a high quality service. By providing the audience with a translation of the speaker’s speech, the interpreter ensures that the message is clear and that all of the attendees understand what is being said.

The main advantage of simultaneous interpreting is that it allows a natural flow of presentation. Unlike the traditional conference, simultaneous interpreting eliminates the need for a speaker to wait for a break before speaking. It also allows for a smoother transition between presentations.

Simultaneous interpreting is also less time consuming. On average, a simultaneous interpreter works for around twenty to thirty minutes. During this time, he or she typically takes ten to fifteen minute breaks.

The best simultaneous interpreters must have good fluency in two languages. They should also be highly interested in their fields. Moreover, they should have great mother-tongue skills. A high level of concentration is crucial, as the interpreter must not react to the speaker’s words.

Although it may seem to be difficult, simultaneous interpreting is one of the most important tasks to consider for a successful event. With the right combination of technical expertise and human expertise, the service can be a success.

simultaneous interpreting
simultaneous interpreting
simultaneous interpreting

Complex cognitive skills

The simultaneous interpretation (SI) profession requires the mastery of a wide variety of challenging cognitive skills. Successfully interpreting requires rapid decision-making, accurate and effective memory, as well as a highly efficient attention-switching system. These skills are also required for the task of negotiating an understanding between two different cultures or languages.

In order to better understand the brain’s response to the SI task, researchers used functional imaging. They compared the theta power of participants during two separate tasks: listening and interpreting. Their findings indicated that theta power increased during the listening condition, whereas it decreased during the interpreting task. This is in accordance with general cognitive demands on attentional control.

Furthermore, the study found that training had an influence on the workload of participants during a familiar task, such as consecutive interpreting. Specifically, participants who underwent a training program for consecutive interpreting reported a decrease in the theta power during the task, compared with participants who underwent a similar program for simultaneous interpreting.

A third group of participants, who were not enrolled in a training program, demonstrated high proficiency in their second language. This may indicate that individuals who are motivated to develop specialized skill are more likely to improve their performance.

An EEG was recorded in order to determine the workload during the task. During the interpreting task, the participants had to interpret three parts of speech for a duration of three minutes each. As a result, the participants performed overt and covert changes. For each change, participants performed a self-assessment of their perceived workload.

The simultaneous interpretation and listening conditions elicited higher workload estimates than the shadowing condition. These results are in accordance with the linguistic requirements of the SI job. Moreover, the findings of the study suggest that intensive professional simultaneous interpreting training can counteract the experienced workload.

However, the findings also reveal that stable personality traits may be predictive of future interpreting success. Especially, stable domain-general cognitive abilities may be responsible for distinguishing the most skilled interpreters from the least skilled.

This research suggests that the training programs for professional simultaneous interpreters can counteract the experienced workload during an extremely demanding task.


The safety of simultaneous interpreting involves many things. First, the interpreter must be able to see the speaker and listen to him or her. Second, the interpreter must be able to translate without distracting background noise. Third, the interpreter must be able to handle stress. Fourth, the interpreter must be able to remember the words of the speaker. And fifth, the interpreter must be able to concentrate.

The safety of simultaneous interpreting depends on the quality of the equipment that the interpreter uses. A good interpreting service provider will be able to offer you modern and high-quality interpreting equipment. It also makes a difference if the interpreter is able to work with a soundproof booth.

It is important to find a quality provider with experienced and professional interpreters. If the interpreting is for a patient, be sure the provider is well-versed with interpreting for medical procedures. This will help to prevent delays in relaying instructions to the patient.

Moreover, the simultaneous interpreting process requires an interpreter to be able to predict the speech of the speaker. Although some studies have indicated the presence of predictive cues, no one has been able to prove its existence.

However, there are theories arguing that it is possible for interpreters to develop a unique ability to predict the future words of the speaker. In theory, this ability could allow the interpreter to reformulate incoming information while listening. But, it may be limited by the incoming conditions.

To avoid complications, the interpreter must be able to distinguish primary and secondary information. They also need to avoid distractions and false friends. These factors can negatively impact the ability of the interpreter to perform.

The safety of simultaneous interpreting also depends on the audio quality of the microphone and headphones. If the audio is not clear and loud enough, the delegates will not be able to comprehend the message. Also, the resulting sound may be unappealing.

Nevertheless, the safest way to ensure the safety of patients is by using simultaneous interpreting. The process allows for the delivery of medical and safety information in multiple languages.


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