Simultaneous Interpreting

In the case of simultaneous interpreting, interpreters translate sentences into the targeted language while at the same time they are listening to and calculating what to say for the next sentence spoken by the second language speaker.  In fact they have to be quick thinkers to be able to translate the sentence appropriately.

Kinds of Interpreting

In a nutshell, a simultaneous interpreter processes and memorizes the words spoken by the speaker of the source language while simultaneously speaking in the targeted language a translation of the words spoken by the speaker five to ten  seconds ago. The aim of simultaneous interpreting isn’t to simply paraphrase what the speaker has said but to convey the message exactly as it has been spoken but in the target language. This is usually the method used at well attended meetings, conferences and trade events and is used at United Nations venues. Usually the interpreter will be present in a booth wearing a set of headphones and speaking down a microphone.

Consecutive Interpreting

This is when the speaker stops after 1–5 minutes and the interpreter translates the words into the target language.  This is found more commonly at small business meetings and in a court room where a witness is speaking in the witness stand. The main skill required for this type of interpreting is for the interpreter to be good at note taking so that a reliable translation can take place.

Escort or Travel Interpreters

An escort or travel interpreter plays the role as a one to one interpreter and is often used by individuals travelling overseas on a business trip.  The interpreter will order food and confirm business deals on behalf of the client.

Whisper Interpreting

This is when an interpreter sits close to a client and translates in a whisper as words are spoken. This is a common system used for business meetings where an individual doesn’t speak the language of the meeting and needs an immediate translation to ensure understanding.

Over-the-Phone Interpreting

This is sometimes referred to as scheduled telephone interpreting and takes place after an appointment time has been confirmed. The person who needs this kind of interpreting only uses the phone to get the translated information.

Phone Interpreting On-Demand

This type of interpreting is for organisations or individuals that require immediate interpreting and it takes place once a party has called a service and goes on to select the language pair required leading to a connection with a suitable interpreter. This is a common interpreting method used by call centres and institutions that need to connect accurately with clients such as in medical establishments and in certain legal settings.