5 Types of Interpretation

All interpretation relies on conveying information from a source language into a target language, but there are multiple ways this is achieved and the best method for interpretation will depend upon the needs of the speakers and listeners. Sometimes, more than one method may be used.

5 Types of Interpretation

All interpretation relies on conveying information from a source language into a target language, but there are multiple ways this can be achieved and naturally, the best method for interpretation will depend upon the needs of both the speakers and listeners. It may be that more than one method needs to be used at one and the same time.

Simultaneous Interpretation

In this mode of interpretation, the interpreter listens to spoken content through headphones, and speaks the translated words into a microphone. As soon as the interpreter understands the general meaning of the sentence, he or she begins the interpretation. The simultaneous interpretation is rendered to the target-language listeners via their earphones.

Fact: The introduction and first use of simultaneous interpretation using electronic equipment was as part of the Nuremberg Trials.

This marked the beginning of the Infra red systems with interpreters in sound proofed booths and delegates needing translation using headsets with a small console to tune into the appropriate channel all relayed through infra red panels hung above the audience.
Recent times have seen the introduction of Remote Simultaneous Interpreting Platforms (RSI) so that the AV signal from the floor is injected into the platform, relayed to the remote interpreters and delivered to delegates through their mobile devices.
RSI Platforms can be used for live, virtual or hybrid events and greatly reduced costs.

Consecutive Interpretation

To allow the interpreter to render what was said into the target language, consecutive interpreting relies on the speaker stopping frequently - on average, between every one to five minutes. The speaker's pause needs to come at the end of a sentence or topic. While waiting, the interpreter listens and takes notes as the speaker moves forward through the communication. A vital skill involved in consecutive interpreting is note-taking, since few people can memorize a complete paragraph in a single hearing without losing detail. This is the primary form of interpreting offered by the skilled language services professionals at Ablio.

Fact: Numerous interpreters develop their own "ideogram symbols," which aids them by recording not the words, but the thoughts of the speaker in a type of "language-independent form.”

Now in the digital age, consecutive interpretation can be done remotely and we have seen the development of ‘ Over the Phone Interpreting’ Platforms (OPI) It’s possible to book a call or indeed hook up with an interpreter on demand.
The development of on line OPI Platforms has made this type of interpretation really simple and effective.

Whispered Interpretation

A variation of simultaneous interpreting, whispered interpretation, involves the interpreter addressing a small target-language audience by whispering a simultaneous interpretation. This method is generally used only when a few audience members do not speak the source language.

Fact: Whispered interpretation is often referred to as chuchotage or "whispering" in French.

Relay Interpretation

Much like the races that share the name, relay interpreting is achieved by a group of participants. A source-language interpreter transfers the message to a group of interpreters who have that language in common and who each speak another language, as well. One at a time, these interpreters convey the message to their respective audiences. For example, a German speech is first interpreted into English to a group of interpreters, and is then re-interpreted by each into Arabic, French, and Russian.

Fact: Relay interpreting is proving to be a great aid to monolingual speakers of languages of limited diffusion.

Liaison Interpretation

Also called escort interpreting, liaison interpreting relies upon an interpreter who translates into and out of the source and target languages as a conversation takes place. This type of interpreting is typically used for small, informal situations such as meetings. However, an interpreter may shadow a client for several hours or all day long, throughout everyday activities.

Fact: Liaison literally means, "communication for establishing and maintaining mutual understanding and cooperation," thus all interpreters truly function as liaisons.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. As it is, interpreting takes many forms and all of them are intellectually demanding, requiring intense concentration and focus, so that every word spoken is accurately translated into the target language. Because of this intensity professional interpreters often need to rest between sessions. However with increased globlisation the resiliance of our interpreters is more than ever required.