Simultaneous Interpreting Concepts


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Welcome to this page called “Simultaneous Interpreting Concepts” in which the webmaster will share information on learning concepts, and how we human beings learn. The initial focus will be to highlight the benefits of learning and how it benefits the brain. This will be a work in progress project.

The webmaster is a lifetime learner and has been involved educating technical matters and computer technology since 1983 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Writing and Business, Graduate Certificate from Boise State University in Online Teaching, has been a Computer Technologist and Engineer for computer manufacturing, and webmaster for various web pages.

Additional posts will be dedicated to Simultaneous Interpretation, with the goal to improve interpretations of sermons from English to Spanish.

Posting of 2/28/2024

Any resource that will be posted is for educational purpose only. Thanks.

Introduction to Simultaneous Interpretation

The most used mode of interpretation is Consecutive Interpretation.

  • Consecutive Interpretation is the interpretation mode in which the speaker says the first sentence or phrase and pauses, then the interpreter expresses the sentence or phrase into the target language.
  • Then the speaker says the next sentence or phrase and the interpreter expresses the sentence or phrase into the target language.

Simultaneous Interpretation is more complex. Simultaneous Interpretation is the most difficult mode of interpretation. 

  • In Simultaneous Interpretation, the speaker says the first sentence, the interpreter will listen to the first sentence or phrase, translate it in the brain, while the second sentence or phrase is being spoken, and then also speaking out the first sentence.
  • Because of the cognitive challenge to the interpreter, the best methodology for speakers that will be interpreted is to use pauses of 1, 2 or 3 seconds as described below.
  • These pauses will allow the interpreter to hear the first sentence, process it in the brain, render the interpretation, while listening to the second sentence or phrase. These pauses on behalf of the speaker will help the interpreter perform these mental tasks. 

The pauses help to optimize the efficiency of interpretation and reduce the amount of cognitive load on the interpreter, which is a significant toll on the interpreter.

It is highly recommended that speakers use pauses as described below. This will also help the audience to assimilate the information better.

The best-known method practiced by many simultaneous interpretation is to have two person rendering the interpretation for about 20 minutes each, then they switch. 

Pauses will give a span of processing time for the cognitive load on the interpreter. 

Please use the following guideline for pauses. 

Whenever there’s a… Pause for…
Comma and semi-colon 1 second
New sentence 2 seconds
New paragraph 3 seconds 

The pauses above are to compensate for the décalage of simultaneous interpreting, which is the brain time to translate and deliver the interpretation.


Elaborated concept on pauses, excellent reading:

If the speech is already written, then have this speech translated into the target language. 


Decalage is a key concept in simultaneous interpretation. 

The ‘gap’ between what the speakers says and the translation into the target language (better known as décalage) must be kept short, typically around 2 seconds – that’s the only way the interpreter can render the text without losing track of what’s being said. (Source:

Helpful Strategies in Preparation of the Simultaneous Rendering

  1. It is going to be immensely helpful that the preaching be most similar to the preaching notes. 
  2. Recommended that the speed of speaking is somewhat slower (not too fast) and with the pauses recommended above. This will help the interpreter process the sentence, say the sentence in Spanish and at the same time hear the second sentence.
  3. It will be helpful that all the Illustrations used in the sermon to also be on the preaching notes.

Below is a great video on this subject.

Simultaneous Interpreting techniques

Compilation of Words and Meanings in English and Spanish

Post of February 16, 2024:

When you first study a sermon that will be translated from English to Spanish, you will find that many words and expressions DO NOT TRANSLATE EXACTLY between these two languages. So, we’ll make posts with snippets of words that are peculiar and don’t translate exactly from English to Spanish.

In order to be an efficient and accurate interpreter, one must be basically almost 100% fluent in both languages. It is important to realize, I’d say, that know one knows all the words of English and Spanish, hence, wanting and being in an atitude of learning, is an important aspect of being an interpreter.

If one is able to have the source documents that contains what will be said in English and familiartize and or have that material translated, will make the rendering a better experience for the interpreter and the audience.

Afford = conseguir, alcanzar. Algo que puede conseguirse o alcanzarse o darte el lujo de poder comprar o adquirir.

Abiding = Permaneciendo 

Abide = Permanecer

Abide with God = Permanecer con Dios

Abiding with God = Permaneciendo con Dios

Back out … now let us back out that box = Ir para atrás, retrocede 

Brashness = ofensivo. The quality or condition of being tactless, rash, or offensively bold. La cualidad o condición de ser sin tacto, imprudente u ofensivamente atrevido, descaro

Bow down = inclinarse

Burnt out = Agotamiento grande, como cuando una batería está completamente descargada. Burnout is a state of complete mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. El agotamiento es un estado de completo agotamiento mental, físico y emocional.

Cel phone = celular. The cel phone is literally what we know as the old cel phone that are not smart. These are almost obsolete devices. Though, because these are almost obsolete and rare to see around, the term cel phone is used to refer to the smart phone.

  • Smart phone = The literal translation of smart phone from English to Spanish would be “teléfono inteligente.”  If you say in Spanish “teléfono inteligente,” the audience will say “what are you talking about. So, again, the best way to translate smart phone, is to just say celular. In English it is clearly called smart phone

Choice = Selección, elección

Complain = quejar

Commissioned = Puesta en servicio

Complaining = quejarse

Conferred = otorgar (bestow), conceder (granted)

Deflect = Desviar

Dimmer eyes = Ojos más tenues, ojos más apagados

Disappointed = Decepcionado, desilusionado

Dwell in their tents = habitar en sus casetas 

Endurance = the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina: Source:

Endured (same as withstood) = resistido, soportado

Exchange rate = Cargo por intercambio de moneda

Exhaustion = agotamiento, debilidad

Fill with fatness = lleno de grosera

Fat = The term fat refers to the fat or tallow of the animals that biblically represented a pleasing offering to the Lord and constituted the best part of the sacrifice. 

Fatness = grosura

El término grasa o grosura se refiere al sebo de los animales que bíblicamente representaban una ofrenda agradable al Señor y constituían la mejor parte del sacrificio.

Fluent in Spanish = Fluido en español (masc.), Fluida en español

Fingerprints = huellas digitales o simplemente huellas

Forfeit = Renunciar. Forfeit refers to the act of giving up something, typically a right, possession, or privilege, as a penalty or punishment for a failure to fulfill an obligation. La renunciar a algo, normalmente un derecho, posesión o privilegio, como pena o castigo por el incumplimiento de una obligación.

God’s hand are open wide = Las manos de Dios están abiertas

Hasten to help me = Apresúrate a ayudarme, date prisa en ayudarme

Highlight in your Bible = Resalte en su Biblia

In store (What God has in store for us)= Lo que Dios tiene preparado para nosotros. Lo que Dios tiene aguardado para nosotros.

In the big wow = A lo grande

Issues = problemas, situaciones difíciles, asuntos, temas

Marvel …. Become a marvel = maravilla, prodigio

Meant it … If you meant it = Meant it … If you meant it
Mess …. It was a mess = Lío …. Fue un lío

Mockery and trial = Burla y juicio

On the fly = on the run. Como en el vuelo, en la marcha, simultaneo

On the move = En movimiento, en marcha

Overflowing = Desbordante, rebosante

Platform … In whatever platform you’re using = Plataforma … En la plataforma que estés utilizando

Pleading = suplicando 

Pull you close … God wants to pull you close = Dios quiere acercarte

Refuel = realimentado (re-alimentado)

Rely in God’s help = depender de la ayuda de Dios, Confía en la ayuda de Dios. Apóyate en la ayuda de Dios
Righteousness found by faith = Justicia hallada por la fe 
Robe of Righteousness = manto de justicia 
Sackcloth for my closing = Tela de saco para mi ropa
Self-confidence = Esta palabra compuesta no existe en español. Significa confianza en uno mismo (confianza en si mismo). Se podría traducir como autoconfianza.
Settle = ajustar, resolver
Shortcomings = Deficiencias, defectos
Showdown = confrontación 
Speech = discurso

Spiritual insight = Conocimiento espiritual, percepción espiritual, comprensión espiritual

Staying focused = Mantenerse enfocado

Stir our hearts = Conmueve nuestros corazones

Swag = botín

Taking advantage of those who came to worship = tomando ventaja de los que venían a adorar, tomando ventaja de los que venían a adorar

They will have it now = Ellos lo tendrán ahora

Trouble (distress) = problema, conflicto

Web link tab = Enlace web

Whine = Lloriquear, but it is also used for complaining

Whining = Lloriqueando, but it is also used for complaining

Whisper = susurro 

Work staff = equipo de trabajo, personal de trabajo

Untimely = prematuro, inoportuno

Definitions from:,

Post of June 19, 2023:

As reported in

Education and lifelong learning help us use our brains to their maximum potential by stirring up our curiosity and intellect, Dr. Lagoy adds. The more you use your brain, the more oxygen it requires, and your body increases blood flow to it to fulfill the higher demand. This is what keeps it healthy and active and benefits brain health.

Claire Gillespie. (2022, January 24). Retrieved from Life-Long Learning Has Positive Impact on Brain Health and Aging:

So how is it that we learn?

Instructional learning theory teaches that our brains learn by segments of information. Each segment of information is like a building block. Each block will form part of the house or building. The most important building block is called “fundamentals”. The idea of foundations is analogous to laying the foundation of a house. If the foundation is not solid and complete, the house will fall down. No matter how many blocks you lay, real learning does not occur.

The learner has to lay each block, one at a time, and learn that “chunk” of information or concepts for learning to occur. The learner also needs the desire and motivation to learn. It is a very healthy exercise for the brain. Learning is healthy for the brain. More about this some weeks from now.

In the following video, Michael Spitzer, a professor of music at the University of Liverpool, explains how:

Music affects the brain in profound ways. It eases stress by lowering cortisol. It floods the brain with pleasurable neurotransmitters like dopamine. And it serves as a conduit through which we can process emotions that otherwise might not be describable in words.

Professor Michael Spitzer. (2023, January 29). Music’s power over your brain, explained | Michael Spitzer. Retrieved from

Music’s power over your brain, explained | Michael Spitzer