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October 16, 2017 |

What Are The Top Types of Interpreting Services?

With the global village so much more than a mere metaphor, interpreting services are becoming increasingly vital. We share ideas and we need to understand what we hear. In business, when traveling, for legal and medical situations, and for conferences, there are many types of interpreting services.

In this context, interpreting services are no longer an exclusive component to the United Nations or G8 Summits. When building a global company, you need to communicate in real time with potential clients and investors. You need to know what type of contract you’re signing and understand the implications of your actions.

Without trained professionals to provide accurate and informed interpreting services, you’re likely to hit a bump along the road when going global.  

Whether you organize an international conference or have to see a foreign-speaking doctor for personal reasons, check out the top types of interpreting services available here.

1. Consecutive Interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is one of the main interpreting services and consists of translating one paragraph (or thought) at a time. The speaker stops after a few sentences and allows the interpreter to repeat the words in the target language. It’s actually the most popular of all interpreting services.

Consecutive interpreting helps to translate for a large audience, where the majority speaks the same language. Think about consultations with a foreign specialist, press conferences, presentations for international teams, seminars, or shows with a foreign guest.

Consecutive interpreting services are also suitable for legal issues – when a foreigner must speak in front of a courtroom, for example. They’re also useful for foreign patients in hospitals.

Sometimes, the interpreter needs to take notes during the speech. This way, he or she makes sure the message remains intact, especially when the source message is complex or uses specific terminology.

Background information can help the specialist understand the context. So, make sure you discuss the nature of the event with the interpreter sometime before they start interpreting.

Your Events Will Be Longer

When choosing consecutive interpreting services, you need to consider more time for each speech. Some languages have complex structures, so the interpreter may need more time to repeat the original message.

If your participants expect a rigid schedule, you should discuss this issue with the interpreter before coming up with the final program.

Make sure your speakers understand the need for translation and leave time for the interpreter to step in. A speech that is too long in a foreign language will make the public shift their attention from the person speaking towards something more entertaining. Your hard work may be lost if you don’t get to the point when using interpreting services like these.

2. Simultaneous Interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting means the interpreter translates into the target language in real time. While translating, he/she listens to the following sentences that need to be interpreted. Usually, the interpreter uses headphones to follow the original speech. Then they speak the translated version into the microphone.

Simultaneous interpreting services are suitable for multinational meetings and conferences. This way, you make sure each person has access to the information in their own native language, without disturbing others.

Simultaneous interpreting makes communication possible in the European Parliament, at the United Nations and in other high-level meetings.

You Need Several Experts for Each Language

Interpreters must translate each word. There’s no room for ambiguity. Any lost sentence can change the meaning of the entire speech.  

It’s hard and consuming work, as interpreters must memorize the words they hear, then translate them while the source continues to speak. You need skilled experts and good equipment to make sure all parties involved receive accurate information.  

Generally, interpreters need a break after around 20 to 30 minutes of translation. This happens because simultaneous interpreting needs high levels of concentration. Being active for more than 30 minutes at a time reduces the efficiency, as the interpreter can get tired and can’t keep up with the source message.

So, you should have at least two professionals available for each language. But, depending on how long the conference is, you should consider a higher number of experts when using simultaneous interpreting services.

Context is Essential in Simultaneous Interpreting

Translation is more than rephrasing in a different language. Specialists need to keep the message intact, while respecting grammar, logic and rigid language rules.

Real-time interpreting is even harder, as the interpreter doesn’t have the time to analyze various options and choose the best word to express what he/she has heard. There’s no going back to correct mistakes either.

To make interpreting easier, you should provide specialists with context. This means you should give them drafts of speeches and the specific terminology that can make interpretation easier. It’s also helpful for interpreters to know the schedule of the meetings they’re going to attend.

Simultaneous Interpreting Services for Smaller Events

Professional interpreters don’t work in high level meetings only. For smaller events, you can choose interpreting services that better suit your needs.

Whispered Interpreting is a subset of simultaneous interpreting. Basically, you have a professional interpreter that whispers the translated version of the speech to a small number of foreign participants.

These types of interpreting services work well in small groups and for short meetings, as they require high concentration for both the interpreter and the person who needs the translation.

As whispered interpreting doesn’t require special equipment, it’s useful when you move from one place to another (sites or office visits).

3. Liaison Interpreting

Liaison interpreting is also called “travel” or “escort” interpreting, and are less formal types of interpreting services. They are useful for B2B meetings where participants speak two languages (two people or two small groups).

Generally one interpreter alone translates for both parties involved in communication. This method simplifies things because it places less pressure on the participants. Liaison interpreting services are good during negotiations, as well. In this case, interpreters play a cultural role besides repeating the messages in the target language.

Providing context helps interpreters deliver the best version of each sentence. In this kind of meeting, you can give any additional information you consider necessary as discussions move on.

Liaison Interpreting Can Include Traveling

As these less formal meetings can go on for several days, it’s possible to hire a specialist for a longer period. Interpreters can even follow clients on business trips in foreign destinations. This is why this type of interpreting services is sometimes called travel or escort interpreting.

Liaison interpreters share the same space with their clients and can help them “read” body language, besides the linguistic message. They’re usually well prepared, knowing the political, social and economical situation in the country of destination.

So, having a professional with you while traveling can help overcome language and cultural barriers, bringing you closer to better deals for your company.

Yet, as traveling involves protocols and specific rules of etiquette, you should do some background research before hiring an interpreter. A professional can help you make a good first impression, while a less prepared person could place you in embarrassing or even dangerous situations.

The Right Interpreting Services Can Improve Your Reputation

Whether you travel abroad or receive foreign guests, the right interpreting services can help you connect with potential business partners, get better medical services or benefit from fair legal assistance.

You need a person or a group of professionals who will deliver your message in an accurate manner, to avoid misunderstandings and cultural differences.

It’s important to choose the right interpreting services to gain trust and respect from your international partners. When you make communication easy despite the language barrier, you’ll enjoy a positive international reputation. 

If you’re looking for interpreting services for any need, be sure to get in touch. We can match the right professionals to any job and guarantee efficiency and professionalism at all times.

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