Methods of interpreting

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Various methods of interpreting are available for use in meetings, as required by the individual situation.

Simultaneous interpreting

In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter uses a microphone and the listeners wear headphones. The interpreter may use a portable transmitter or be seated in a booth with a clear view of the meeting room. The speaker is translated simultaneously. The high level of concentration required by this kind of interpreting means that interpreters can only work for short stretches of time and usually need to alternate every 20 to 30 minutes. This means that a team of two or more interpreters is required per language.

Consecutive interpreting

For consecutive interpreting, the interpreter sits at the table with the delegates or on the platform next to the speaker and interprets the speech into the required language once the speaker has finished speaking, making use of notes. The speech may be delivered in short sections of up to 15 minutes as appropriate. 

Whispering interpreting

Whispering interpreting is used where only one or two delegates require interpreting. The interpreter sits between or just behind the delegates. This method is only suitable for short meetings involving a small group of people.

Liaison interpreting

In liaison interpreting, the interpreter acts as a go-between between two or more people in a conversation. He or she interprets individual sentences or short passages of speech in both languages so that the parties involved can understand one another.