Equipment Required for Interpretation

Interpretation Booths. Interpretation booths are used to provide sound isolation for the interpreters. The isolation serves two purposes. The booths allow the interpreters to work in a quiet environment, free from audible distractions, so they can focus on the words of the speaker(s). In- side the booths, the interpreters can speak at a normal volume in whatever language they speak, and not disturb the meeting attendees in the audience. The interpreters usually receive the audio feed from the floor by means of an XLR cable.

Interpreter Console. The console is the control center for interpreters, allowing them to receive, transmit and control the audio (both incoming and outgoing). It is common that two interpreters, speaking the same language, will share an interpretation booth and interpreter console, with individual microphones assigned to each interpreter. This is done because it is a complex task, requiring frequent breaks to allow each interpreter to relieve the other. A typical scenario for an interpreter would be 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. The interpreter console features are important, because the console allows the interpreters to perform more efficiently.

Language Distribution. This is the distribution of the audio of the interpreted languages to the meeting attendees. Usually, and most desirably, this is done wirelessly. In the world of interpretation, there are two technologies commonly used to wirelessly transmit the audio — radio frequency (RF) or infrared (IR).

Transmitter. This is the equipment that will be hooked up to the interpreter console to transmit, or wirelessly distribute, the audio. Sometimes it is used on a stand-alone basis in small and less- complex events. This can include base-station transmitters or mobile, body-pack transmitters.

If infrared technology is used, the combination of an infrared modulator and emitter serves the transmission purpose.

Receiver. This is the equipment that the listening audience uses to wirelessly receive the audio distribution that is being transmitted. Some receivers have a built-in speaker, while others require the connection of a headphone or earphone to hear the audio. Most receivers offer the option to select the channel along with adjusting the volume of the audio.

(Courtesy of Williamsound)

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