If you are organising an international conference, meeting or tour where you’ll be providing simultaneous translation with one or more interpreters, here are some of the basic information needed to help

Size? Determine the number of attendees at the event, and the size of the room/meeting space. This is important in determining the number of receivers required and the type of technology required for suitable coverage of the space.

Location? Determine whether the event is inside or outside. Other important factors are whether it is in a highly populated urban setting or in a rural area. Typically, the larger the population centre, the more likely it will be to experience interference from other RF transmissions. Previous experience using equipment in a certain area is helpful. If possible, use a receiver as a “scanner” to survey the site for interference before the event.

Portability? Will the equipment be moved from location to location and, if so, how often? Or is the equipment going to be installed in one room and remain there for events? Is the interpretation taking place on a walking tour? These questions will not only help determine the required technology, but also whether the equipment can use standard power supplies or will require a portable transmitter(s).

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Security? Is secure transmission an issue? In some meetings, such as those held by a government agency, legal firm or financial institution, secure transmission is required so the conversation cannot be picked-up by unwanted external listeners. When selecting interpretation technology, remember that infrared and encrypted digital tourguide systems offer secure transmission; analogue FM radio systems do not.

Number of languages? Determine the number of channels required to be transmitted simultaneously during the event. As the number of languages or channels increase, the complexity of the technology increases (as does the cost).

Multiple meetings adjacent to each other? Will multiple meetings take place simultaneously in close proximity to each other? If so, transmitters used in one room can easily be within the range of other transmitters. Careful consideration
should be given regarding the number of channels required. Infrared technology generally avoids this issue, as the signal is contained within the walls of each room.

Preference? Sometimes there are mindsets or comfort levels already in-place, based on the type of equipment that has been used in the past. This can be an important consideration, when someone is already accustomed to something and there is no other determining factor for change.

Here at Apple Sound Tourguide-SYSTEMS we have a range of rental equipment available for simultaneous translation (sim.tran.) for both portable applications (like walking tours), and for interpretation at events.

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