These days every self-respecting conference room features a peculiar three-legged device sitting right in the centre of the conference table to be used for telephone conferences.
Alas, these devices unfortunately are next to useless for interpreting. The in-built loudspeaker delivers sound quality which is insufficient for interpreting. Some customers expect the interpreter to perform whispered interpreting while sitting at the conference table (Read more about whispered interpreting or chuchotage here.)
This is definitely not a good idea, for the interpreter’s voice in the conference room makes following the flow of things even more difficult for the other conference participants. Any interpreter faced with such working conditions will be exhausted quite soon, because he or she has to make head or tail out of what the loudspeaker delivers while hearing his or her own voice too.
However, by now truly sophisticated systems for telephone and video conferences are available out there – and even include support for simultaneous interpreting. The future is here!