Different situations call for various types of interpreting. As a conference interpreter, I am trained in both simultaneous and consecutive interpreting techniques. I am always ready to provide guidance on the most suitable and practical interpretation approach based on your needs.
Simultaneous interpreting is commonly employed during large multilingual events. Typically, interpreters work in pairs within soundproof booths equipped with the necessary technology. They receive the audio feed from the event through headphones and convey the interpretation in real-time. Attendees in need of interpretation can listen to the interpreters' voices through their own headphones.
To expand the range of languages covered, there is a method known as relay interpreting. In this scenario, interpreters use the interpretation provided by another booth and transfer it into their working language. For instance, if the speaker on stage uses Russian, which is not within my language combination of German, Spanish, and English, I can listen to the Russian-to-German interpretation (instead of the original audio) and then interpret it into Spanish.
Simultaneous interpreting requires a high level of concentration, which is why interpreters work in pairs, taking turns at regular intervals. They support each other with glossaries and notes to maintain a consistent and high-quality interpretation.
Simultaneous interpreting can also be practiced as so-called whispered interpreting. No technique is necessary for this. The interpreters sit directly behind the person for whom they are interpreting and whisper into the person's ear. This means, of course, that only a very limited number of people can be interpreted for.
The type of consecutive interpreting is generally used less frequently in the field of conference interpreting than simultaneous interpreting. This is due in particular to the fact that the total speaking time is doubled here by the interpretation.Consecutive interpreting is used, for example, for short speeches or company tours. Consecutive interpreting can be done unilaterally (in one language direction) as well as bilaterally (in two language directions).
In unilateral consecutive interpreting, the speech is first delivered and the interpreter takes notes of what is said using a special note-taking technique. Then there is a pause and the passage is interpreted into the target language with the help of the notes.
Apart from a microphone for the interpreter, no additional equipment is necessary. Interpreters usually stand alongside the speakers on stage. Depending on the speech volume, multiple interpreters may be utilized to ensure smooth transitions and maintain a high level of quality. Consecutive interpreting is a solo endeavor.
Bilateral Consecutive Interpreting:
Bilateral consecutive interpreting, also known as liaison or negotiation interpreting, finds its application in legal and social contexts. In this form of interpreting, the interpreter acts as a mediator between two languages. They actively participate in the conversation by transferring speech from language A to language B and vice versa.
Example: The client speaks Spanish and the specialist speaks German. The interpreter interprets the professional's short speech passages into Spanish (with the help of notes) and the client's contributions from Spanish into German so that the professional can understand them. It may also be an option to have short speech passages whispered simultaneously.
This type of interpretation allows people to talk to each other without speaking the same language
In this type, too, the number of interpreters depends on the amount of time and the complexity of the content.