Everything About Interpreting in One Place
The goal of interpreting isn’t converting the spoken word from one language into another. The goal of interpreting is to break the language barrier between two or multiple people who don’t share a common language and helping them establish an effective communication either simultaneously or consecutively, on-site or off-site. The goal of interpreting is thus to convey the exact same message or meaning in the exact same way it is being said in the source language (language that needs to be interpreted from) into the target language (language that needs to be interpreted into).
Types of Interpreting
There are many ways to break the language barrier and help two or multiple parties establish an effective communication. Some of the most commonly used types of interpreting include:
Simultaneous interpreting. It refers to interpreting in which the spoken word is translated simultaneously, that is in real time.
Consecutive interpreting. An interpreter who interprets consecutively waits for the speaker to make a pause - usually after a few shorter sentences – and then translate what is being said. The speaker then continues and again makes a pause in order for the interpreter to translate.
Whispered interpreting. It is a type of simultaneous interpreting which differs from the ‘classic’ form in that it doesn’t involve the use of interpreting equipment to render translation. Instead, the interpreter “whispers” translation to the client’s ear.
Over-the-phone interpreting. It refers to simultaneous or more frequently, consecutive interpreting service provided over the phone. It is most often used when there is not enough time to wait for the interpreter to arrive on the site.
Relay interpreting. Usually avoided due to the increased risk of misinterpretation, relay interpreting refers interpretation of the source language into a language that is understood by other interpreters in order for them to be able to translate in their working languages.
Liaison interpreting. This is a two-way interpreting. In most cases, interpreters translate only into their first language. In liaison interpreting, however, they also interpret into their second languages in order to enable the parties to communicate.
Sign language interpreting. It refers to interpreting from spoken word into sign language or vice versa.
On-Site and Off-Site
Interpreting can be provided both on-site and off-site, for example over-the-phone or videotelecommunication technologies. It is recommended for the interpreter to be present on-site whenever possible to reduce the risk of misinterpretation which are more likely to occur because when off-site, the interpreter can’t see non-verbal cues.
If and what kind of interpreting equipment is necessary for the interpreters to effectively break the language barrier depends above all on the selected type of interpreting. For example, no equipment is needed for consecutive or whispered interpreting. ‘Classic’ simultaneous interpreting, on the other hand, requires professional interpreting equipment.