The History of Simultaneous Interpreting
Simultaneous interpreting is one of the newest types of translation
appearing sometime around 1925. Credit for the invention of simultaneous
interpreting is given to the American businessman Edward Fillane. The
earliest equipment for simultaneous interpreting (microphone, earphones,
and switching equipment) was manufactured by IBM.
In the US, President Eisenhower's interpreter Leon Dostert pioneered the
development of simultaneous interpreting technology. In 1946 he
organized a demonstration of the technique at a meeting of the UN. The
Security Council is the only UN body in which both consecutive and
simultaneous interpreting is used. Today the UN offers simultaneous
interpreting into English, French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and
The term interpreter refers to the practitioner who translates orally
for parties conversing in different languages or utilizing sign
language. Interpreters should convey not only elements of meaning, but
also the intention and feelings of the original speaker. In fact, the
end result is an intermediate stage of communication which aims to allow
listeners of the target language to experience the message in a way
that is as close as possible to the experience of those who understand
Interpreting vs. translation
Although the terms translation and interpretation are used
interchangeably in everyday speech, they vary in meaning. Both refer to
the transfer of meaning between two languages. However, "translation"
refers to a transfer from text to text — usually written, but may be
recorded speech or sign — with time and access to resources such as
dictionaries. There is a very high standard of accuracy for translation.
Interpreting, on the other hand, usually takes place "on the spot" with
the clients present, and deals with utterances (although the source
language may be a text).
A common misconception by the general public is that they must deliver a
"word-by-word" or "verbatim" interpretation of what is said in the
source language in order to be accurate. This misconception is usually
held by speakers of a single language, and occasionally by lay
self-described "bilingual" persons. The truth, however, is that if one
were to attempt a "word-by-word" translation of a sentence, without
regard for the listener's understanding, the end result would usually be
In some situations, the interpretation is given while the source speaker
is speaking, as quickly as the interpreter can reformulate the message
in the target language. Normally, in simultaneous interpreting between
spoken languages the interpreter sits in a sound-proof booth, usually
with a clear view of the speaker, at a microphone, listening through
headphones to the incoming message in the source language; the
interpreter relays the message in the target language into the
microphone to whosoever is listening. Simultaneous interpreting is also
the most common mode used by sign language interpreters.
Simultaneous interpreting is sometimes referred to as "simultaneous
translation" and the interpreter referred to as the "translator". These
terms are incorrect, as discussed in the distinction between
interpreting and translation above.
In whispered interpreting, the interpreter sits or stands next to the
(small) intended audience and interprets simultaneously in a whisper.
This mode does not require any equipment.
Whispered interpretation is often used in situations when the majority
of a group speaks one language, and a limited number of people (ideally
no more than three) do not speak that language
صلى الله على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلمسبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم