No scientific symposium, no economic or political conference can take place without the involvement of interpreters. And the words themselves of interpreters can determine whether the event will be a success. Wrong or inaccurate translation can cost a company's reputation, resulting in significant financial losses, and in the case of a country, even its prestige.
Since 1928, simultaneous translation had been used only occasionally, although the patent was registered in 1926 and belonged to IBM, the American company, although the inventor of the Telephonic Interpretation System was Alan Gordon Finlay, a radio engineer.
The 6th Congress of the Comintern, held in 1928 in the Soviet Union, heralded the start of the development of simultaneous interpreting. But until the mid ‘40s of the last century, the simultaneous form of translation was practically unused. And only at the Nuremberg Trials was simultaneous translation organized by Soviet translators and Allied professionals, mostly American.
In 1947, the UN established the first unit. And since 1970, simultaneous translation during international events has become widely used.
When conducting international events, translation is generally carried out in 6 languages, including English, German, French, Arabic and the language of the countries conducting the event. The Kremlin Palace of Congresses employed more than 50 simultaneous interpreters, who translated speakers in 29 languages. The Moscow Festival of 1957 for young people and students involved 80 simultaneous interpreters.
The first equipment for simultaneous translation was rather bulky, and that influenced the quality of the translation. Today wireless devices are installed, using so-called ultra-short-range radio waves, portable, and mounted around the auditorium.
Participants receive pocket devices equipped with miniature headphones and headset. With these gadgets, participants can listen to the event even while moving about, not only in the room itself, but also in an adjacent lobby. And so, connection by wire for simultaneous interpreting has been relegated to history. However, a wireless signal does not guarantee security of privacy. Therefore, for sensitive events, equipment operating at infrared wavelengths is used.
Modern high-tech equipment, talent, and experienced simultaneous interpreters makes communication between different language groups both unconstrained and enjoyable.