Translating a text from the original language does not simply consist in providing a literal equivalent that follows grammar rules. Translation is an art and the translator has to know the cultures and customs of the countries of the source and target languages. When engaging in specialist and technical translation, he or she must also have a thorough knowledge of industry specifics and of the jargon used by a particular professional group. In all probability, we have all at some point used free web translators which make it easier to understand words or simple sentences. However, only a professional human translator is able to properly understand the context and correctly convey the meaning in his or her translation.

Consecutive and simultaneous interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is a special type of interpreting that requires exceptional cooperation between the speaker and the interpreter. The speaker is required to express his or her thoughts precisely and logically, and the interpreter, among other things, must be exceptionally well-trained in memorising and taking notes to faithfully render the speaker’s utterance in the target language. Most often, consecutive interpreting is used on stage during various ceremonies, interviews or business meetings. It should be borne in mind that with this type of interpreting, half of the speaking time should be reserved for the interpreter.

The second type of interpreting is simultaneous interpreting. In this case, the interpreter listens to the speaker and at the same time translates his or her speech into the target language. This kind of interpreting requires proper equipment, usually a soundproof booth equipped with a microphone and headphones. It also demands exceptional focus and precision and, above all, multitasking on the part of the interpreter. As a result, simultaneous interpreting is exhausting work. Therefore, interpreters work in pairs, which allows them to manage their energy appropriately during their workday, which may range from a few to a dozen hours. You can find out for yourself just how complicated simultaneous interpreting is – just listen to anyone speak for a few minutes and try to repeat what he or she is saying at the same time (even in the same language).

During some meetings, especially study visits that involve the participants’ constant movement between several locations, special mobile sets (so-called tour guides or infoports) are used. This saves time, since interpreting can be carried out simultaneously with the speeches. However, this equipment is not suitable for conferences that take place in a single room equipped with a full sound system.

There is one more type of simultaneous interpreting that does not require the use of special equipment, but has many limitations. This is whispered interpreting (chuchotage), which can only be performed for very small audiences of three. The interpreter is usually close by, slightly behind the listeners, and quietly provides a simultaneous translation.

Remote interpreting

Remote interpreting has been on the market for some time. In view of the global situation in 2020, demand for these services has additionally increased and platforms supporting this type of interpreting are constantly being developed and improved. During a video conference, both consecutive and simultaneous remote interpreting can be provided by interpreters working in pairs, with the latter requiring the use of a special customised platform. This type of interpreting offers numerous possibilities and may involve many different configurations depending on the needs of conference and meeting organisers. I will be happy to help you choose the right solution.