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Video Remote Simultaneous Interpretation

June 12, 2020

The need for accurate interpretation of what was being said dates back to the ancient world. Although merchants of the Mediterranean used a local lingua franca to communicate, the ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Greek leaders employed language interpreters to achieve more accurate results. Many centuries later, Leon Dostert pioneered the development and use of simultaneous interpretation technology in the United States. Having observed the multilingual interrogations during the Nuremberg Trials a year earlier, President Eisenhower’s personal interpreter encouraged the United Nations to switch from consecutive to simultaneous interpretation in 1946. His new method, which significantly improved the accuracy of interpretations, was immediately adopted by others conducting multilingual events. To this day, Dostert’s approach is considered more conducive for global business expansion as well as intellectual and economic progress.

Consecutive vs Simultaneous Interpretation

Originally, consecutive interpretation merely swapped one word for another, as interpreters listened to what the speaker said and delivered the message in another language whenever the speaker paused. Since simultaneous interpretation is delivered in real time by an in-person interpreter who translates one language into another, what was said could be better explained without disrupting the flow of the speaker’s delivery. As simultaneous interpretations were provided to listeners in their target language, there was a transformational human experience and attendees suddenly understood not just what was being said, but what the words of the speaker meant. After all, interpreting the spoken word is not only about conveying the denotation of the message but also the body language of the speaker. With a simultaneous approach, the overall feel of what was happening in the room and the audience’s mood became part of the delivery.

The Rise of Video Remote Simultaneous Interpretation

With the rapid growth of global markets, came an increase in demand for interpretation of messages for the private sector by many multinational companies. Unfortunately, the financial crisis that followed the turn of this century, shrank many companies’ budgets for employing skilled interpreters to work their magic onsite at business meetings and multilingual conferences. Both the high cost of travel and the expense of hosting an event caused providers to seek new solutions for the age-old problem. The development of remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) sought to meet the new demands by providing a more cost-efficient solution.

Clearly speakers, interpreters, and audience members would prefer being onsite and having the advantages offered by the more traditional approach, but times were already changing well before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the global economy. Fortunately, interpreters were becoming more comfortable in exchanging their interpretation booth equipped with older versions of simultaneous interpretation equipment for the high-tech approach to multilingual communications from a remote location. Now, with advances in video-telecommunications, video remote simultaneous interpretation can deliver live images along with spoken interpretation services remotely via smartphones.


Call us today to learn more about the “New Normal” for your next multilingual event. ProLingo has decades of experience delivering the highest quality of interpretation and translation services while constantly improving the quality of multilingual communications for businesses and organizations worldwide. Our professionals are here to help you navigate the available options for video remote simultaneous interpretation to make your virtual event a huge success.

Client Spotlight

I am writing today to compliment the exceptional customer service shown by your team members. Our organization recently hosted a group of high profile religious leaders from North, Central and south America for which English to Spanish translation was a necessity. My entire staff and I were impressed by the quality of ProLingo's equipment, pricing and most importantly their employees. I am looking forward to working with ProLingo again in the future and will gladly recommend your services to others.
- S. Caprani, Episcopal Church of Central Florida

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