Consecutive Interpreting & Simultaneous Interpreting

With need for interpreting services growing and growing we are often asked what is the difference between consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting? In this week’s blog we look at both disciplines and explore the differences.

Consecutive Interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is the most common mode of interpreting. This service involves the interpreter sitting with the client and listening to a speech or statement before rendering the message into the target language after the speaker has paused. This method works really well for small groups or one-on-one conversations, as it facilitates dynamic, direct communication in dialogue form. Accuracy is enhanced, as the interpreter is able to take notes. The slower pace of consecutive interpreting allows for precise interpretation, giving participants more time to make decisions. Cultural/linguistic issues and communication barriers can also be addressed and clarified.

This method of interpreting is ideally suited to community settings, interviews (dialogues), HR meetings, court hearings and medical consultations.

Interpreting New Zealand

Simultaneous Interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting, which is sometimes referred to as conference interpreting, is where the interpretation is transmitted to the listener during real time as the speech is still being given, with a very slight delay. Simultaneous interpreting is popular and most suited for larger groups in more formal settings (although technical equipment is usually required).

This method is used for events such as conferences, seminars, conventions, business meetings, lectures, tours, public speaking and so on. It is more immediate than consecutive, saving time and being less tiring for the audience. Simultaneous interpreting with a duration of more than 30 minutes should be completed in “relay” teams (2 interpreters per language). We are also able to provide the necessary technical equipment to ensure high-quality speech transmission and to amplify the interpreter’s voice. This equipment usually includes headsets and a microphone and transmitter. Audiences will usually be provided with an earpiece and receiver (with adjustable volume).

Simultaneous interpreting requires a higher skill level than consecutive interpreting.

If you are interested in booking an interpreter please contact a member of our team by emailing or free phoning 0508 Talk2Me (825 5263)

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