Admundi Proffessional


An explanation of some of the interpreting methods in standard use.

Before you can choose the best interpreting technique for your event, it is perhaps useful to know what each one involves. The glossary is designed to help you:

Interpreting Interpreting is the verbal transfer of the spoken word into a foreign language. Several interpreting techniques can be used and all demand a highest degree of concentration. As a rule, an interpreter needs a 10-minute break every 30-40 minutes, so that at least 2 interpreters would be needed for speeches lasting more than 40 minutes (see “Interpreter team”).

Interpreter team A team normally comprises 2-3 interpreters per language. If more than 3 language combinations are involved, then a team leader (chef d’équipe) is appointed, whose job is to co-ordinate the work of the interpreters and to liaise with the client/event manager.
Interpreting Techniques Interpreters can choose from various techniques:

“Consecutive”: the interpreter takes notes while the person is speaking and translates when the person finishes. In such cases it is not usual for the person to speak for longer than 15 minutes.
“Simultaneous”: the interpreter works from a soundproof booth and has a headset and microphone. The speeches are interpreted simultaneously, i.e. with a delay of only a few seconds. The delegates listen to the speech via a receiver and can select the language. Such interpreting requires a very high level of concentration and as a result the interpreters normally work at least in pairs (see “Interpreter team”).
“Whispered”: This is simultaneous interpreting for a maximum of two speakers. The interpreter sits diagonally behind the two persons concerned and “whispers” the interpreted material to them.
“Interpreting at Negotiations”: The speeches are mostly shorter and follow the normal speech rhythm.

Interpretation at Conferences This can be either consecutive or simultaneous and is the technique normally used at seminars, conferences and congresses (see “Interpreting Techniques”).
Preparation For the best results, the event organiser makes all the information the interpreters need (program, concept, terminology, presentations, manuscripts) in good time so that they can prepare themselves accordingly. If the event involves official speeches, then these should be made available to the interpreters in the same way, so as to ensure the maximum success of the undertaking.

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