Interpretation - how does it work?


Interpretation consists in translating the spoken word aloud.

The two main types of interpretation are:

  • simultaneous (at the same time as the speaker)
  • consecutive (after the speaker has spoken)


Despite the current restrictions, simultaneous and consecutive interpretation can still be provided. See our page on remote interpretation for more information or get in touch with us for a tailor-made solution.


Simultaneous interpretation provided from an interpretation booth

In this case, a team of interpreters work in a soundproof booth. The interpreters hear what is said in the room in their headphones and interpret it instantaneously. As a result, the participants can follow what is being said in the room perfectly, but in their own language.

  • No time loss: a free-flowing discussion can take place without language barriers
  • Great for small-scale events, but a must for most large-scale events
  • Many languages can be interpreted simultaneously
  • The number of listeners is unlimited
  • We are happy to arrange the appropriate booth and equipment for you

See our page on simultaneous interpretation from a booth for more information.


Simultaneous interpretation without an interpretation booth (whispered interpretation)

The interpreter is located among the participants and interprets the speaker's words, at the same time as he speaks, into the ear of a maximum of two listeners. If there are more than two listeners, a tour guide-type audio set is used: the interpreter speaks into a microphone and the listeners receive the interpretation through headphones.

  • May be suitable for a small group of listeners
  • In situations where a booth is impractical or where the participants move from place to place
  • No time loss for the listener, but if he/she wants to take part in the discussion, their contribution will have to be interpreted after they speak (i.e. consecutively)
  • Not suitable for all venues
  • The noise of the interpretation may disturb other participants

See our page on whispered interpretation for more information.



The interpreter is located in the room. He/she listens to the speaker and takes notes, using a method particular to interpreters. The interpreter then interprets what has been said into the other language. The speaker and interpreter take turns to speak.

  • Most suitable for small groups
  • No booth or equipment required
  • The meeting will take somewhat longer due to consecutive interpretation, however participants may utilise that time to reflect and to take notes
  • Is less conducive to a dynamic discussion

See our page on consecutive interpretation for more information.



Congrestolken also provides experienced sign language interpreters for meetings and conferences.

See our page on sign language interpretation for more information.


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