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Interpretation Equipment

The quality of simultaneous interpretation depends largely on how well the interpreters can hear the speakers. It is therefore vital to provide the interpreters with interpretation booths and technical equipment which meet international standards. The requirements for built-in simultaneous interpretation booths are given in TS ISO 2603 those for mobile booths are given in TS ISO 4043.

If the meeting is held at a venue without built-in equipment, it is well worth the effort to work with a professional company which specializes in technical equipment rental and set-up. Although Enterkon is not affiliated with any technical company, it can provide meeting organizers with information on interpretation equipment companies.

Enterkon can provide meeting organizers with a bidule, portable equipment used for simultaneous interpretation without a booth, for meetings with up to 20 participants.

Here are some basic tips on interpretation booths and equipment:

• Take basic tip is to take into consideration the fact that the interpreters "office" is the booth; they usually spend up to six hours working under stress in quite a confined space.

• Each language should have a booth with one microphone and headset for each interpreter.

• The booth should be located in a manner that enables the interpreters to see the speakers and visual equipment (i.e. slide screen, TV monitor, etc.) without any obstruction.

• The booths should not be close to the exit doors or have a large open area behind it. This is vital to ensure that the interpreters are not distracted by outside noise and that such noise does not carry through the interpreters microphones into the listeners' headsets.

• The booth should have table lamps to enable the interpreters to read documents even if the room's lights are dimmed. There should also be a table which is large enough to hold the technical equipment, lamps and documents. A technician should be available at all times in order to help both the interpreters and the participants in case of a technical problem. Please note that interpreters merely know how to use the interpretation equipment and cannot set it up or fix it.

• The interpreters should be given the opportunity to check the equipment with the technicians before the meeting begins.

• Meetings with more than two languages may require an interpretation system that has a relay function which enables interpreters in one booth to listen to the interpretation in other languages.