Tolkapparatuur 2019-05-08T18:51:27+00:00
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Interpreting equipment

An interpreter provides interpretations services in all kinds of situations for many different types of events. Sometimes interpreters need technical support in the form of equipment during an interpreting session. What kind of equipment do interpreters use in their work?

Whisper sets

The name gives it away: a whispering interpreter sometimes uses a whisper set. A whisper set consists of a headset and microphone. This enables the interpreter to transmit (talk) and receive (listen). The persons who need the translation wear headphones – without a microphone – and only receive information. A whisper set is usually used when there are two to ten listeners.

A whisper set is also available in the form of a tour-guide system where the interpreter has a hand-held microphone and the listeners wear headphones.

The advantages of whisper sets and tour-guide sets:

  • quick and easy to use
  • multiple frequencies can be used (when there is more than one language)
  • designed for mobile use (especially the tour-guide sets)


  • others present may find the whispering disruptive (especially during large-scale events).
  • noise interference for the interpreter (because the interpreter is not located in a soundproof space, he/she hears all the ambient noise in the setting).

Discussion microphones

When using a discussion microphone, participants can transmit and receive. In other words, they can hold a discussion. Having everyone present able to listen and speak is a major benefit. This equipment is therefore often used for:

  • board meetings
  • conferences
  • panel discussions

The way those present are positioned is an important factor, because discussion microphones can’t be deployed in all venues and settings. Preferably, those present should be positioned as follows:

  • classroom arrangement (in rows)
  • in a U-shaped seating arrangement

Interpreting booths

Interpreting booths are soundproof systems measuring approximately 2 x 2 meters. This is where the interpreter sits. Fixed booths on site or mobile interpreting booths; we can arrange it. How does it work?

  1. The interpreter is seated inside the booth.
  2. The interpreter hears what is being said in the venue through an audio link.
  3. The interpreters speaks into the microphone to transmit the translation, which is then received in the headphones of the listeners.

An interpreting booth can accommodate a maximum of three interpreters, depending on the number of interpreting consoles installed in the booth. An interpreting booth is commonly used at large multilingual events. Why? When you bring in multiple interpreting booths, you easily expand the number of languages that can be translated by interpreters. Other advantages are that:

  • the interpreter can focus solely on interpreting, because he/she is shielded from any ambient noise
  • it is more unobtrusive for listeners, because the interpreter can only be heard through the headphones
  • there’s no maximum to the number of listeners

An interpreting booth enhances both the quality of the interpreting service and the event itself. One disadvantage of an interpreting booth is that it takes up space. So make sure you have adequate space in advance. We would be happy to assist you if you have any questions.

Do you need a whisper set or an interpreting booth? Or is no equipment required? Contact us for more information now!