How to calculate the cost for interpreting services?

Published on 02/03/2022

If you have come to this blog, it’s because you have made the right decision and want to get a quote for interpreting services. It’s a pleasure to make your multilingual events a success, by using our conference interpreting or our remote interpreting services.

As you probably know, every event is different. That’s why at AbroadLink Translations we would like to give you an overview of important things to prepare before requesting your quote.

What you need to know:

  • Interpretation type
  • Language combinations from and into which you’ll need to interpret
  • Event date(s) and duration (including breaks)
  • Topic
  • Number of participants

1. Interpretation type

Interpretation type

Once you have planned and organised your event, it is time to start thinking about the suitable interpretation service (oral translation). You should know what kind of interpreting service you’d like to use for your event.

These are the ones you can choose from:

  • Consecutive interpreting service
  • Simultaneous interpreting service
  • Whisper interpreting service
  • Bilateral interpreting service (liaison)

The first thing you need to know, is that depending on your planned event, you will be able to use one interpreting service or another. However, there are also different types of interpreting services that you can combine depending on the event.

Consecutive interpreting is an oral translation where the interpreter (oral translator) listens and takes notes of what the speaker is saying in one language (up to a maximum of 5 minutes) and then reproduces it in another language. This type of interpreting is mainly used for presentations with only a few participants or for business meetings.

With the speaker speaking first and the interpreter speaking afterwards, we recommend using consecutive interpreting services only for short meetings or events. Otherwise the event may take forever.

Simultaneous interpreting is the ideal alternative to consecutive interpreting, as in simultaneous interpreting the interpreter speaks at the same time as the speaker. This means that the your planned time schedule will not be altered.

Both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting can be carried out both in person and remotely. All you need to bear in mind is that in order to hold a face-to-face event with simultaneous interpreting, you will need interpreting booths and a technical team which will be in charge of the installation and set-up. For remote events, you will need to have a video conferencing platform which allows you to integrate interpretation channels, such as Zoom.

Liaison or bilateral interpreting is nothing more than consecutive interpreting which, instead of being unidirectional, i.e. interpreting from language x into language y, is bilateral. In this case the interpreter will not only orally translate into one language, but into two. This interpreting service is mainly used in small business meetings of 2 to 4 persons or, for example, in front of a notary.

Finally, the only thing left is whisper interpreting , which, as its name suggests, consists of one of your assistants standing behind the interpreter, who whispers into his/her ear everything the speaker says. This interpretation type is widely used for business dinners or lunches, but is not suitable for remote events.

Once you have decided which type of interpreting is most suitable for your event, it's time to look at the languages you need.

2. Languages into which you need interpretation

Languages into which you need interpretation

This might seem extremely obvious, but due to the complexity of interpretation it’s not the case. Let us know into which languages you need your event to be interpreted, but also think about the fact, if participants will ask questions that need to be interpreted for the speaker. In this case you will need not only need direct interpreting services, but also reverse interpretation.

Although it’s true that the vast majority of interpreters interpret both from and into their second language, the interpreter needs to be notified. Why? Because in the case of e.g. remote meetings, he or she can react quickly and change channels without being caught by surprise.

And please don't forget to let us know to tell us which language the speaker(s) will be using!

3. Event date/s and duration

Event date/s and duration

One of the most important things we need to know in order to prepare your quote is the date your event will take place and how long it is expected to last. Don't worry if you are not yet 100% sure about the exact week, but you should be clear on how many hours your event will last. In doing so, also take into account the possible breaks you might to include.

There are three interpreting services:

  • Interpreting per hour or mini-conference (1 to 2 hours)
  • Part-time (up to 4 hours)
  • Full time (up to 7 hours)

As you can probably imagine, each of these services have different costs and will require one or more interpreters depending on the interpretation type you have chosen in the previous section. Breaks count too!

4. Event topic

As in translation, some conference or meeting topics are more complex than others and require a high level of specialisation on the part of the interpreter(s). One example would be interpreting services for medical or technical conferences.

The price for interpreting services may be higher if it’s a highly specialised conference, so don't forget to let us know the topic of your event.

5. Number of participants

Number of participants

The number of participants is also a key factor in setting a budget depending on the type of conference interpretation you have chosen. Especially now, when many companies are conducting their events and meetings through online platforms, as remote conferences usually allow only a limited number of participants, you will need to choose an account plan that suits your needs.

The bigger the plan, the more participants will be able to attend your event. If you don't have a platform account which integrates interpreting channels, we at AbroadLink can take care of eveything. We only need to know how many of you are going to attend in order to manage both the event and the event invitations.



Once you have all necessary information, please contact us to discuss your event and we will send you a customised quote tailored to your interpreting needs. We at AbroadLink take care of the rest.

If you want to take a closer look at how we manage our interpreting projects, have a look at our blogs “2 tricks for your multilingual Zoom events” andHelp! Zoom interpretation channels do not work!” Who knows, you might discover something you didn't know about conference interpreting.

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