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Interpretation is the verbal translation of the speaker’s words to an audience that does not speak the same language, with the express purpose of having the audience understand what is being said by the speaker. To achieve this purpose in various situations, there are different modes of interpretation which require different skills and equipment.  To adequately select the mode your event requires, please read the following description of the various modes of interpreting services.

Interpretation via telephone

In Telephonic interpretation, an interpreter provides interpretation via telephone for two individuals who do not speak the same language. Telephone interpreting is performed off-site and in the consecutive mode.Costs are $3 per minute and there is a $250 monthly minimum. You can then access over 100 languages in 60 seconds 24 hours per day 7 days per week. Telephone interpreting is NOT a replacement for face-to-face interpreting in health care and other settings. Please discuss your needs with our service representative.

Consecutive interpretation

This mode is recommended for working in one-on-one or small group meetings, where the speaker and the interpreter take turns speaking. The interpreter takes notes while listening, then interprets what was said while the speaker pauses. This mode is commonly used when there are just two languages at work, the consecutive interpreter may interpret in both directions, and special equipment is not required, but the speaker must be aware to provide pauses for the interpretation to occur.

Simultaneous interpretation

This mode is commonly used when there are more than two languages involved and requires a specialized audio system with headsets for the audience, a soundproof booth for the team of interpreters and two interpreters per language. The interpreters sit in the booth and listen to the speaker through headphones, then instantly render the speech into the target language, a few seconds to a minute behind the speaker. The audience tunes in to listen to the channel assigned to their language.

Because of the exacting demand of the task, requiring that the interpreter speak at the pace of the speaker without pausing, interpreters must work in teams of two switching off frequently. In addition, it is imperative that the interpreters have the specific terminology of the subject matter on hand. In this mode of interpretation the text of the speech is provided, preferably in advance, certainly at the meeting.

Simultaneous interpretation without equipment could work but it may disrupt your meeting. Multiple languages without equipment will NOT work.

Booths and a line feed of the speakers are always recommended because interpreters need to hear speakers clearly and the booths insulate them so that they do not interrupt your meeting. Multiple languages without a booth will disrupt your meeting.

Whispered interpretation

This mode is often used in situations where the majority of the group speaks one language while a limited number of people (1 to 3) speak the interpreted language. In this mode the interpreter sits or stands next to a person and whispers the target language interpretation to him/her. While it can be simultaneous, it is not recommended as it will disrupt your meeting. When selecting whispering, you need to be satisfied with large gaps in the content that will happen when a single interpreter is trying to cover continuous speech.

Other types of interpretation

Hospitality – Mostly consecutive; generally provided on a one-on-one by bilingual fluent speakers who do not have any formal training in interpretation.

Sight translation – a copy of the speech is provided and a request to spontaneously translate out loud what is written.  Not recommended.

Call us today to discuss your project and what mode of interpretation is best for you, or fill out this form and get a quote or book your professional interpreter today!

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