Consecutive interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is interpreting when a speaker and interpreter speak subsequently. The interpreter listens to the speaker’s speech, writes down using a special way, called the “note-taking system”, remembers the most important ideas, and presents the translation into the other language to the audience, as the speaker makes a pause. Two types of consecutive interpreting are distinguished: short, when it is interpreted in phrases (1-3 sentences uttered by the speaker) and long, when a speaker’s speech fragment, which may last even 15-20 minutes, is interpreted. One or two interpreters may participate in this process subsequently, based on the length and intensity of the interpreting. Special equipment is not necessary for such interpreting, except the cases, when it is interpreted in big rooms or for a large audience. In such cases, a microphone must be provided, attached, or set up in a such way that the interpreter would not need to hold it in his/her hands and would be able to write down what is being said. If this type of interpreting was to be ordered, it is necessary to foresee that your event is going to last longer, as the audience will have to listen to both speaker and interpreter. Therefore, the time of the event is lost, as the interpreting consumes around 70% of the time necessary for the speaker. Besides, the consecutive translation burdens those audience members that can understand the original language and do not need the translation. Consecutive translation is suitable during business lunch or dinner, negotiations, presentations, trips abroad, in small groups. Interpreters that provide consecutive translation services not only speak the foreign language fluently, without any noticeable accent but also understand the cultural and social context of the language they interpret in; they always follow the dress code and protocol requirements.

Simultaneous interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting is interpreting when the interpreter renders the thoughts of the speaker into the other language nearly at the same time they are uttered. Usually, the interpreter lags behind from the speaker in two or more sentences. Interpreters work in a soundproof booths and use simultaneous interpreting equipment. The speaker in the hall speaks into the microphone, the interpreter listens to it via headphones and interprets the uttered thoughts into the microphone located in the control panel of the booth. Other listeners select an audible channel for suitable language combination, to listen to interpreting in a language they understand. Simultaneous interpreting is a very tense job, which requires a quick reaction, resilience to stress, good memory, and the ability to listen to the original language, analyse the audible language, and render it in fluent interpreting language at the same time. Hence, to prepare simultaneous interpreting, it is necessary to have no less than two interpreters, which work by changing subsequently every 20-30 minutes or every 15-20 minutes depending on the intensity of the topic, etc. This interpreting form is mostly used in multilingual events of different nature, in big conferences and seminars. Time is saved by interpreting simultaneously, as the speaker may speak non-stop and only the people that do not understand that language listen to it; the same speech may be interpreted into a dozen or several dozens of languages. Simultaneous interpreting equipment consists of a stationary interpreter booth, the interpreter’s microphone (microphones) connected to the transmitters, and the headphones connected to the receivers. In other cases, mobile equipment, consisting of an interpreter’s microphone connected to the headphones, is used if such equipment is not found in the room. Such equipment is cheaper than the interpreting booth and the equipment necessary for it. The main drawback of such a mobile system is that there is no sound insulation, therefore, a noise, which distracts other listeners, is constantly heard. Besides, it is harder to work for the interpreters as well and this may have a negative impact on the interpreting quality.

Whispered interpreting

Whispered interpreting or “interpreting into the ear” is a variation of simultaneous interpreting when it is quietly interpreted sitting beside the listener and without using any special equipment. Such interpreting form is deployed instead of consecutive interpreting to save time and instead of simultaneous interpreting to save the expenses of the equipment. Only one or two members that are together may listen to such interpreting. In other cases, the variation of the whispered interpreting is not suitable. At times, the interpreter uses headphones to hear the speaker better. Two interpreters perform the whispered interpreting. In extraordinary situations, one interpreter may perform the whispered interpreting, e.g., if the listeners and interpreters constantly walk and the time of such interpreting does not exceed 60 minutes. The drawbacks of such interpreting: there is no sound insulation, hence all background noises are heard in the room of the event; it is not easy to hear everything for both the listener and the interpreter; the interpreter’s vocal cords are burdened; the working conditions are aggravated for the interpreter, and this may have a negative impact to the quality of interpreting.

Remote interpreting

Remote interpreting is interpreting in using a visual and audio conferences technique when the location areas of the communication process participants and interpreters are in different rooms or even in different cities, countries. Remote interpreting is divided into remote simultaneous interpreting and remote consecutive interpreting. Remote simultaneous interpreting is selected when there are no opportunities to place interpreters’ booths in the room of the event. In such cases, interpreters’ booths, which meet all the technical requirements, are placed in the other room rather than where the event takes place and proper audibility is ensured for both the interpreters and listeners. Besides, good visibility of the event place, speakers, and the screen with visible information, for example, the view of the hall, the speaker, and the screen, where the slides are shown, must be ensured. The main drawback of such interpreting is additional technical decisions and burdened working conditions for the interpreter, which may have a negative impact on the interpreting quality. An example of remote simultaneous interpreting is interpreting via phone and interpreting of video conferences. The newest technologies allow providing such interpreting services for clients that are in other cities or other countries. In such a way, travel organisation expenses are saved and an opportunity to hire qualified interpreters of often rare languages is not lost. The drawback of such interpreting is that it is very important to see the faces of the speakers, so that the non-linguistic information, necessary to properly interpret the thoughts of the speaker and correctly render them in the interpreting language, could be implemented.

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