Simultaneous interpreting involves the interpreter, the speaking person, and the deaf person engaging in the conversation at the same time. As the person speaks, the simultaneous interpreter translates what they say into sign language that the deaf person comprehends. Often, this creates a type of delayed conversation because the interpreter is usually a few words behind the speaker. However, the delay is usually fairly minimal, if the interpreter is fluent in ASL. Once the speaker has finished and the message has been relayed through the interpreter, the deaf person signs their reply, which the interpreter simultaneously speaks to the hearing person.
Simultaneous interpretation services are ideal for those who need assistance, simply having a conversation. Because the words are translated very quickly, both hearing and deaf individuals feel like they are part of a conversation and that neither is forced to wait for the translation. Simultaneous interpreters are also often hired by organizations to translate speeches, presentations, and panels to those in the audience who are hard of hearing. This allows individuals to attend these events without worrying about being unable to understand what is being said.
In addition to providing interpretation services for conversations, simultaneous interpreters may be hired for a variety of other reasons, including translating audio or video recordings and tutoring beginners in ASL. This service is available in many areas and is often done on a per-event or per-hourly rate.