Simultaneous interpretation is usually contrasted with consecutive interpretation. That said, the adjective “simultaneous” may be a misnomer in that, although the interpreter is still in the booth wearing headphones and speaking into a mic, the interpreter needs to wait until the sentence is understood and processed before interpreting.

Nonetheless, a simultaneous interpreter is listening and translating one idea out loud while parsing the next. Simultaneous interpretation is actually seen as more challenging because any impediment to fluid translation, (e.g., searching for a language’s countervailing idiom) means missing out on the next idea, lagging behind and ultimately not performing well.


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