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Consecutive or Simultaneous Interpretation – Having Difficulties Deciding?

No matter if you need consecutive or simultaneous interpretation, you can always turn to Translators USA language specialists. All our interpreters are experts in their language pairs, have specialized knowledge in all fields and industries and are fully trained to provide an accurate and meaningful interpretation in over 150 languages, at any venue type/size and in virtually any subject. You just have to let us know where, when, which languages and what type of interpreting service you need. Having difficulties deciding between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation? It may help to take a closer look at the main characteristics and both advantages and disadvantages of the two types of interpretation.

 

Consecutive Interpretation

Consecutive interpretation is a conversion of one language into another with a delay. The interpreter waits for the speaker to end a sentence or few sentences and then translates what was said into the target language. The speaker then continues, again completing only one or a few shorter sentences and then waits for the interpreter to do their part of "the job".

In addition to language proficiency and subject knowledge, consecutive interpretation also requires a lot of training in order to acquire the necessary skills to provide an accurate conversion of one language into another. Consecutive interpreter must have an outstanding memory and the ability to remain concentrated because missing a slightest detail can change the meaning of what was said and cause a potentially serious misunderstanding.

  • Advantages

No equipment is needed for consecutive interpretation other than perhaps a microphone and few speakers. Also, it doesn't require any special pre-preparations and much planning. When everyone arrives, the event or meeting can begin.

  • Disadvantages

Since consecutive interpretation involves a delay in conversion from one language into another, events or meetings that include a consecutive interpreter may take twice as long as normally. And because the vast majority of language specialists can successfully interpret only one language pair, consecutive interpretation isn't the best solution for multilingual events.

Simultaneous Interpretation

Like its name suggests, simultaneous interpretation involves conversion of one language into another simultaneously or in real time. This means that the interpreter has to listen to the speaker and interpret at the same time which requires a highly specialized set of skills and of course, language proficiency and thorough subject knowledge.

  • Advantages

Given that interpreter converts one language into another in real time, simultaneous interpretation is ideal for time-limited events either due to lack of time of the speaker(s)/participants or any other reason. And since the interpreter doesn't interrupt the speaker(s), simultaneous interpretation is also ideal for events/conventions requiring interpretation into multiple languages. Lastly, simultaneous interpretation gives multilingual events a more natural flow.  

  • Disadvantages

In order to be able to provide interpretation from one language into another without interrupting the speaker, a highly specialized interpreting equipment is required and in many cases, multiple interpreters. And while it is ideal for multilingual events and large audiences, it isn't the best solution for small bilingual business meetings and one-to-one conversations. And since installation of the interpreting equipment takes some time (how much depends on which type of equipment is used), simultaneous interpretation also isn't an option for ad-hoc events.

Have Questions? Translators USA is Happy to Help

If you have any additional questions in regard to interpreting, you can always turn to Translators USA. We are available 7 days a week.

Consecutive Interpreting Services
Consistency and Translation – The Whys and Hows
 

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018
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