Professional interpreting services – the key to a successful multilingual event

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“Hello. Is this METROPOLIO VERTIMAI? We need help with interpretation. Do you provide this service and how much does it cost?” asks a client.

We get several enquiries like this every day, and we are EXTREMELY GRATEFUL to everyone who reaches out to us!

However, do not be surprised if we cannot answer your question right away – an enquiry like this requires an assessment of lots of invisible information, since interpretation is a very specific and extremely complex service. We want our clients to be satisfied with the services we provide, and this begins with a detailed explanation of what the interpretation service includes and how rates are estimated. Therefore, when dealing with our clients, we try to impart our knowledge to them so that in the future, when they plan events with interpretation, they know in advance what needs to be taken into account.
When sending an enquiry, please provide us with the following information about the event:

• DATE and TIME – there are very few professional conference interpreters available on the market and they are usually booked well in advance, so this information is necessary for us to be able to tell you if we can ensure a professional interpreting service at the event in question;

• the VENUE (whether the event will take place in an arena or an audience room where the interpreters will be physically present and will work in simultaneous interpretation booths set up at the venue, or if it is a virtual event where the interpreters will connect to the event from the premises specially adapted for remote interpretation, the so-called RSI hubs or their prototypes) – we need this information because the working conditions are an integral part of interpreters’ work and may impact the quality of their output;

• the NATURE OF THE EVENT (conference, seminar, round-table discussion, training, radio or television broadcast, company tour, etc.) – we need to know this because some interpreters do not accept certain types of assignments, i.e. they accept or decline jobs based on the nature of the event;

• the SUBJECT (politics, law, economics, education, arts, engineering, beauty, health, etc.) – this is important because we select the interpreters for the job based on the areas of their expertise;

• the TYPE OF INTERPRETATION (simultaneous, consecutive, whispered, community, telephone, remote or with physical presence, etc.). Occasionally, clients who are dealing with interpretation for the first time are not aware about the different types of interpretation. The staff of METROPOLIO VERTIMAI are always happy to explain about them and what the requirements for the different types are. For example, simultaneous and whispered interpretation always require two interpreters, and two interpreters are also desirable for consecutive interpretation at events longer than two hours. Why? Because interpreting is an extremely complex, intensive and difficult mental activity which requires teamwork and much more mental resources and physical endurance than simply speaking or listening (to find out more, give us a call and our dedicated staff will elaborate on that);

• the AGENDA, which we need in order to plan the interpreters’ working hours, shifts where needed, and so on.

Another thing to know is that simultaneous interpretation requires professional interpretation equipment. Sometimes people ask if the interpreters will bring their own equipment. The answer is NO – the interpreters will not bring or set up the equipment (unless the services will be provided remotely, please see below about that), neither will they provide technical supervision during the event. This is done by professional technicians who specialise in the field and rent the equipment needed. Professional equipment suppliers (and we work only with such suppliers) have the necessary expertise and know all the requirements for equipment. What equipment will be needed? If the event is taking place physically with the physical presence of the interpreters at the venue (which is the recommended option, since no matter how advanced the technology is, it is impossible to ensure better sound quality than directly at a venue), you will need an interpretation booth for two or three persons per one language pair, simultaneous interpretation consoles and headsets for each interpreter, as well as headsets with receivers for the participants and a microphone(s) for the speakers and panellists. Equipment suppliers will provide you with a detailed list or what is needed.

However, you should first ask if there are any built-in interpretation booths at the venue, in which case you will not need to rent them. Can METROPOLIO VERTIMAI call and find out for you? Of course! And not just call – we can also go to the venue, inspect the event premises, and assess whether the booths and equipment meet ISO and other standards.

As for the equipment needed for RSI (remote simultaneous interpretation), you will not have to take care of this, as the interpreters will usually have their own laptops, headsets, adapters, splitters, cables etc., or they will be provided by the supplier of the RSI workstations (which METROPOLIO VERTIMAI actually offers too, we have installed them at our office), and will have high-speed internet via the ethernet cable for the purpose. However, this mode of interpretation has its risks involved and the client will have to undertake the responsibility for the risks, therefore, they will be advised about that in advance very thoroughly by METROPOLIO VERTIMAI dedicated staff so that the client makes an informed decision.

And the last thing we need to know before we send you a quote is the LANGUAGES REGIME OF THE EVENT. What if the event languages include not just the “popular” English, French or German, but also “smaller” languages that are less common in our region, such as Hungarian, Czech, or even more exotic languages like Chinese, Japanese or Korean? Not sure where to look for professional interpreters and how much it will cost? THAT’S WHY WE, METROPOLIO VERTIMAI, ARE HERE 😊 We have organised multilingual teams for numerous high-profile events, and are proud to say that our clients have given us only the best feedback; and what is more ‒ we have earned their trust!

A multilingual event has certain specifics. It requires several interconnected booths, and above all – a team of highly qualified interpreters. Why? Multilingual events inevitably involve interpreting through an interim language (call us and we shall explain how it works), and even one weak link in the chain can compromise the work of the whole team. This is because other interpreters rely on quality interim output from such an interpreter (it is called the “relay” in the jargon of the profession), without which they will simply have no possibility to perform their part in high quality…

Are you going to broadcast and/or record your event? The event is going to be followed in Zimbabwe and you want the viewers to understand the event participants’ contributions? All right then… When can we call you? Or perhaps we can arrange a meeting, or a ZOOM call, to save time? 
Even if you have not included all of this information in your enquiry, it’s no problem – we shall ask you ourselves!

All enquiries are important to us and we answer each and every one, and value every client. We have been working in the language services field for 22 years, during which we have responded to tens of thousands of enquiries and organised thousands of interpretation teams, therefore we definitely know what to ask. 😊 WE INVEST in our services, while you, most likely, are investing in the quality of your event, therefore we are confident that we are on the same page and can create added value for one another.

In addition to PROFESSIONAL INTERPRETERS, we can also offer an entire PACKAGE OF RELATED SERVICES based on the one-stop-shop principle, i.e. we can organise a team of interpreters, take care of equipment, translate event materials, prepare copies of publications, and so on. That is because we are PROFESSIONALS IN OUR FIELD. By choosing to work with the METROPOLIS team, you are creating the quality of your event and building your reputation. What could be more important at an event than ensuring that everyone can speak in and listen to their native language, that the speakers’ thoughts are properly conveyed, that the event participants understand them, and that the interpretation goes so smoothly that you do not even have to think about it? Entrust this invisible but extremely important part of the event to us.

We appreciate the opportunities you give us, and that by your enquiries you allow us to talk about our work – the sincere and often invisible work of our translators, interpreters, editors, copywriters, and everyone else who works with us…

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