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.

Simultaneous

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 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.

Consecutive

To allow the interpreter to render what was said into the target language, consecutive interpreting relies on the speaker to stop speaking frequently, on average, every one to five minutes. The speaker's pauses 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."

Whispered

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

Much like the races that share its 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 in English to a group of interpreters, and is then 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

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.

Interpreting takes many forms and all of them are intellectually demanding, requiring tireless work. Because interpreters must manifest intense concentration in order to hear every word spoken and provide an accurate rendition in the target language, professional interpreters often rest between sessions after interpreting—depending on the difficulty of the content.