Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreters

If you plan an event where interpreter involvement is required you will definitely need interpretation experts, and the speech transmission format (simultaneous or consecutive) shall be selected depending on the number and language composition of the event’s participants, place and format of the meeting, schedule, and topics.

When simultaneous interpretation is indispensable

Simultaneous interpretation occurs simultaneously with a speaker’s harangue, with a delay of 2-4 to 15 seconds, simultaneous interpreters are engaged in it. At large-scale status events with a tight schedule and dozens of speakers, simultaneous interpretation saves hours of time, provides the required dynamics.

This type of interpretation is inevitable when arranging a multinational conference, when attendees need interpretation not into one or two, but into more than 3 languages. Indeed, if interpreters take turns reproducing a speaker’s harangue, it will take too much time.

Various combinations of the work of simultaneous interpreters at the conference shall be considered for the best result. Contemporaneous engagement of simultaneous interpreters and masters of consecutive interpretation is also used.

Simultaneous interpretation requires availability of additional equipment installed in the conference room.

Simultaneously however without interpreters in booths

One of the simplified types of simultaneous interpretation is the interpretation “in a whisper”. The linguist simultaneously interpreters the speaker’s harangue in microphone of the mobile transmitter, participants are listening using a small receiver located in the ear.

The method is suitable when the number of listeners is no more than 30, there is no any possibility to install booths and other equipment for simultaneous interpretation in the room where the event is taken place. Besides, the given option is convenient when moving the participants through the halls or, for example, listeners are actively moving (fitness forum, yoga conference, etc.).

Whispering (or shu-shu-ta) can be used without any equipment at all, when the interpreter simply sits nearby in the room and whispers the interpretation into the client’s ear. The best option is when among the mass of participants only a few guests do not understand the language of the event.

Consecutive interpretation

In a consecutive interpretation, the expert first shall listen to the speaker (usually up to 5 sentences), and then make an interpretation during the pause between his remarks.

Consecutive interpretation is more accurate than simultaneous one, because the linguist has the opportunity to listen to the thought up to the end and choose the most suitable expressions for its transmission.

This type of interpretation does not require the installation of special equipment. It is convenient if:

  • you can allow spending time of the conference dubbing the interpretation (for example, speaking without interpretation lasts 30 minutes, speaking with interpretation lasts from 45 to 60 minutes depending on the language and pace of the speech);
  • all listeners understand the language of the speech;
  • large number of movements of participants is expected;
  • there is an abundance of digital data in reports and formulas requiring absolute accuracy, which cannot be achieved with simultaneous interpretation due to high playback speed.

How to achieve the perfect result

When preparing the event, tell all the details to the manager of the translation agency for the selection of specialized interpreters.

Preliminary training is especially important prior specialized events where a general excellent mastery of interpretation skills is not enough.

You will greatly simplify the task and contribute to the quality of interpretation if you provide abstracts of reports, presentations, and speeches order in advance. Then linguists will study the topic, terms more deeply, accurately interpret the professional slang, they will not make mistakes in abbreviations, names of institutions, scientific works.