Consecutive interpreting is the most appropriate form of interpreting for speeches and official presentations.
The interpretation is done with a time delay:
the contributor speaks, then stops to give the floor to the interpreter.
+: Just one interpreter.
+: No interpreting equipment required.
–: The length of the dual presentation.
More information on consecutive interpreting
Simultaneous interpreting is the most suitable mode of interpretation for major conferences, on TV and radio.
The interpretation is done in real time.
+: Smooth exchanges.
–: A team of at least two interpreters required for the day.
–: Interpreting equipment required.
More information on simultaneous interpreting
Whispering – whispered interpreting
Whispering is suggested when only one or two participants do not speak the language of the meeting.
The interpretation carried out in real time.
+ : No interpreting equipment required. Practical when just one or two people do not speak the language of the meeting.
– : Potential disturbance for the other participants.
– : Tiring for the interpreters.
More on whispered interpreting
Dialogue interpreting is suitable for work meetings and informal discussions.
The interpretation is done with a 'time delay' like consecutive interpreting, however, this time, it is carried out sentence by sentence.
More on dialogue interpreting
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An interpreting company founded by a professional interpreter
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An experienced contact
for a holistic approach to your multilingual event, with knowledge of all types of events, forms of interpretation and equipment setups
A team of professional interpreters
that we know personally and whose interpreting quality we can vouch for
Competent and reliable technical partners
and comprehensive stock of interpretation and sound system equipment
An international network of translators
and in-house linguistic skill to ensure the quality of the translations
A professional interpretation service and a responsive and attentive partner
How does it work?
The interpreter sits at the same table as the delegates or on the platform with the speaker. The contributor speaks for various lengths of time then stops to give the floor to the interpreter.
Consecutive interpreting is undoubtedly the most complex and impressive exercise when done done properly, with the interpreter tasked with sections lasting 10, 15 or 20 minutes, or even longer.
The interpreter does not write the speech in shorthand in order to faithfully reproduce it, word for word in another language. Instead, they take notes and then translate the meaning, idea and the way the information was presented. Clear understanding of what was said in the source language is an indispensable part of professional interpretation.
Qualities required for consecutive interpretation
To complete this task, the interpreter must, of course, have excellent knowledge of general culture, an ability to summarise and a faultless command of the specific note-taking technique. A full year is dedicated to the consecutive interpretation technique during a Master's degree in Interpreting.
The advantages and drawbacks of consecutive interpreting
The advantage of this form of interpretation is that, unlike with dialogue interpreting, the contributor can express their ideas without excessive interruption. In addition, no interpreting equipment is needed and the interpreter works alone.
The drawback is that, for those who do not understand the contributor's language, there is a delay in receiving the information. As a result, the speech takes twice as long.
How does it work?
The interpreter listens to the contributor, speaks, and listens to their own voice at the same time.
The translation booth isolates the interpreter from all external noise, boosting concentration.
Simultaneous interpretation requires the interpreter to listen, think and speak all at once, involving considerable physical and intellectual effort. As such, simultaneous interpreting is always carried out by a team of two or even three interpreters who switch places every half an hour or more frequently in the event of a particularly sustained rhythm and technical topic.
Qualities required for quality simultaneous interpretation
The task is more complex than simply listening and speaking simultaneously as the interpreter must also process the information to ensure they do not repeat the same words in another language but convey the meaning.
Understanding is therefore essential to quality interpretation.
The advantages and drawbacks of simultaneous interpreting
The information is conveyed smoothly because the contributors are not required to stop to allow the interpreter to speak. Whether or not they understand the language of the speech, all participants receive the information at the same time, unlike with consecutive interpretation. It also offers a considerable advantage in the event of amendments to the day's programme as the real-time nature of the interpreting means no additional time is needed.
Simultaneous interpretation requires equipment – an interpreting booth or a 'bidule' (guided tour equipment also known as portable translation equipment).
Contact us simultaneous interpreting
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Whispering – whispered interpreting (chuchotage)
How does it work?
No equipment is required for whispering as the interpreters sit in the conference or meeting room itself and speak into the ears of their 'clients'.
Although there is no equipment, it is still classed as simultaneous interpreting. Whispering requires a team of interpreters and works in the same way with the interpreters rotating every half an hour.
The advantages and drawbacks of whispering
Whispering has the advantage of allowing participants who do not speak the language of the meeting to follow the speeches and debates in real time without interruption. Given the proximity to the interpreter, this form of interpreting enables the participants listening to the interpretation to 'sort' through the information and let the interpreter know the discussion points of interest, for which they would like the translation, and which topics they can skip.
However whispered interpretation entails a number of drawbacks:
- the participants in need of the interpretation are not given headsets and so they can hear the contributor and interpreter at the same time;
- the participants listening directly to the contributor will also hear the interpreter who must speak very quietly to keep the disturbance to a minimum.
To summarise, when the technical situation allows, we propose 'bidule' interpretation rather than whispered interpretation.
How does it work?
Dialogue interpreting follows the same principle as consecutive interpreting: the contributor speaks, stops and gives the floor to the interpreter. However, in 'real' consecutive mode, the interpreter translates the speech in long sections lasting 5 or 10 minutes or more, while dialogue interpreting is carried out sentence by sentence.
The advantages and drawbacks of dialogue interpreting
This form of interpretation does not require real know-how such as note-taking or summary skills. Unfortunately, this means that dialogue interpreting is often carried out by non-professionals.
It is a 'light' form of interpreting as it requires just one interpreter for the day and no interpreting equipment.
In some situations, and when carried out by a professional, dialogue interpreting may be more appropriate than consecutive interpreting. This is the case in an interview or work meeting, for example, as it allows attendees to follow what is being said in near-real-time and allows for clarification or questions throughout. Thus, during contract negotiations, this allows points to be raised one by one.