onference services cape town

Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment

From the technical point of view, a multilingual conference requires simultaneous interpretation equipment operated by competent technicians. So when planning multilingual conferences in a conference venue that do not have permanent conference equipment installations. Instead, portable (mobile) booths have to be brought in and installed before the conference, one may wish to check that the interpretation equipment they will work with is up to standards and that it will allow a flawless running of the planned event.


 This article is intended to serve as practical technical guidelines for those responsible for the organisation of conferences.

What is Simultaneous Interpretation?

Simultaneous interpretation is facilitating the communication of speech from one language to another in real-time allowing presentations or conversations to flow naturally, without delay. The interpreted speech is usually heard by using a wireless receiver with earphone. This service might also be called conference interpretation, language interpretation or even simultaneous translation. 

What type of equipment is required for Simultaneous Interpretation?

  1. Interpretation Booths: Most hotels and other venues do not have permanent installations. Instead, portable (mobile) booths have to be brought in and installed before the conference. It must always be booths for at least 2 interpreters per booth per language and at some major conferences 3 interpreters per booth per language are engaged.
  2. Interpretation booths are used to provide sound insulation for the interpreters. They allow them to work in a quiet environment while blocking their voice from distracting the meeting attendees. Inside the booths, the interpreters will receive an audio feed of the floor channel (the current speaker in the meeting) and simultaneously interpret into another language.

Click here for quote and more information about our equipment rental services.

  1. Simultaneous Interpreter Console: The console is the central working station for interpreters allowing them to receive, transmit and control the audio. It is an electronic box with audio connectors for both the Interpreter headset and the microphone. The Console helps switching to different languages, Volume Adjustment and microphone controls Two interpreters in a same language booth might share one console but individual microphones are always preferred. 
  2. Language Distribution: Language distribution provides the audio of the interpreted languages to the meeting attendees who require interpretation. For the majority of conferences, this is done wirelessly. In the world of interpretation there are two technologies used to wirelessly transmit language channels: Infrared (IR) or Radio Frequency (RF). Both IR and RF have their advantages and disadvantages, as follow:

Infrared (IR):

  • No interference from cell phones, Wi-Fi and other RF devices.
  • Secure and Confidential. Using IR prevents eavesdropping or confidential information to be heard outside of the meeting room.
  • Audio quality: high fidelity, CD quality audio.
  • More Channels: IR can accommodate up to 32 channels, while RF rarely goes beyond 8 channels.

Radio Frequency (RF):

  • Easy to setup, the signal travels further and is non-directional.
  • No need for emitter panels. IR requires a technician to setup emitters throughout the room for coverage.
  • Multiple-room broadcast from one location: RF signals can travel through walls allowing listeners to be in different rooms.

At Frenchside, you will find every type of interpretation equipment needed for you event. Whether you are holding a large international conference or accompanying a tour group on their journey around Johannesburg, Pretoria,Durban or Cape town.  Frenchside is the prime place for renting interpretation equipment in South Africa. All of our interpretation equipment rentals consist state-of-the-art materials that will ensure the utmost sound quality at your event.

Contact us today to discuss your requirement:

Email: info@frenchside.co.za

Cell: 081 347 6060
Tel: 012 348 3134


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *