Simultaneous Interpretation Series Part 2 of 6: Selecting a Quality Simultaneous Interpreter

Welcome to part two of our simultaneous interpretation series! Now that you’re familiar with what simultaneous interpreters do, here are a few points to keep in mind the next time you need one. If you need a refresher on the basics of simultaneous interpretation, check out last week’s blog post.

Simultaneous interpretation is one of the most time-consuming and challenging language services. That being the case, finding a linguist who can effectively provide simultaneous interpretation is both challenging and incredibly important.

Here are some of the steps we at Translation Excellence take when vetting prospective simultaneous interpreters for assignments:

  • Referrals: Referrals are a great way to find quality simultaneous interpreters. The language service community is very tight-knit and many people have partners that they work with often or know of other interpreters. Find a simultaneous interpreter that you trust, and ask them if they know of anyone.
  • Resumes and Certifications: Always be sure to review the resume, certifications, and any other relevant documentation. How much experience do they have in simultaneous interpretation? If the presentations at your event are related to the healthcare industry, how much experience do they have in that industry? What is their educational history? These questions and others will help you determine if the individual is a good fit for the assignment.
  • References: Check references! Resume fraud is a BIG issue in the language service industry today so be sure to request a couple creditable references. Also, check if you have mutual connections with the prospective interpreter through LinkedIn, other social media sites, or interpreters you currently work with. Follow up with these people as well; since interpreters handpick the references they send, they will not always reflect the interpreter’s true ability.
  • Questions: What questions does the interpreter ask you about the assignment? Do they ask relevant questions such as the topic of the event, whether or not presentation slides/notes will be provided in advance, who they will be working with, or what equipment will be provided? The kinds of questions interpreters ask can tell you a lot about their experience.

Do you have any other suggestions for choosing a simultaneous interpreter? Let us know in the comments below!



Nisar, the dynamic force behind Translation Excellence, stands tall as its founder and CEO. This isn’t just any company—it’s a global heavyweight in boutique language services. Hailing from the vibrant city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nisar brought his passion and expertise to the U.S. shores in 2001. In the realm of languages, he’s a titan. With 19 years under his belt, he’s worn hats from a linguist and instructor to a cultural bridge-builder and curriculum craftsman.

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