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What types of interpretation are there?

Elite AsiaInterpreting Industry-TechnicalitiesWhat types of interpretation are there?

There are mainly 5 kinds of interpretation, namely: Simultaneous, Consecutive, Whispering, Relay and Liaison.

Simultaneous: For Simultaneous Interpretation, the interpreter will be seated into a booth, and with the aid of equipment, he will listen to the spoken content through headphones and translate the content verbally into a microphone. Once the general meaning of the sentence is understood, the interpreter begins interpreting.

Consecutive: Consecutive interpretation involves the interpreter speaking after the speaker speaks. The speaker makes frequent pauses of one to five minutes, allowing the interpreter to translate what was said into the target language verbally. These pauses take place at the end of a paragraph or topic. In contrast to Simultaneous Interpreters who sit inside a booth, a consecutive interpreter is usually sitting beside the speaker and jots down notes while listening to what the speaker says.

Whispering: For whispering interpretation, the interpreter is located beside a small group of audience members and whispers the translated content simultaneously to them. This method is used during situations where only a small group (not more than 2-3) of the target audience who need interpreting service.

Relay: Relay Interpreting involves a source-language interpreter conveying the spoken content to a group of interpreters who have a common language between each other, and each speaks another language. These interpreters will then convey the message to their respective target audiences. It is called Relay Interpreting as the message is relayed from one interpreter to another, who then relays it to the audience. An example of this is a Japanese speech being interpreted in English to a group of interpreters, and each interpreter interprets the content into Korean, Vietnamese, French and German.

Liaison: Liaison interpreting involves an interpreter translating into and out of the source and target languages as a conversation takes place. This method of interpreting is more frequently used for informal settings such as tours.