Understanding the interpreting world

Simultaneous interpreting, whispered interpreting, what’s the difference?


What are the various types of interpreting?

For this service, the oral translation takes place at the same time as the words are spoken by the speaker. While the speaker is speaking, an interpreter in a booth repeats the same text in the target language. This service is often used during multilingual conferences or long working sessions.

This service is often used during short meetings, as well as during diplomatic visits. One person speaks in the source language for a few minutes, and then stops so that the interpreter can translate into the target language. During consecutive interpreting, the interpreter takes notes while one person is speaking. The speaker and interpreter are seated next to one another.

This is a less formal activity than simultaneous or consecutive interpreting: on an individual basis, the interpreter translates between two or three people. This service lends itself well to small committee meetings, for example commercial meetings, medical visits, meetings of diplomats behind closed doors, etc.

Whispered interpreting is a variant of simultaneous interpreting, but instead of being in a booth, the interpreter works alongside one or two person(s) and whispers the speaker’s words directly into the listener’s ear. This type of service can be difficult to implement, since the various voices can disturb the discussion between the participants.

icône interprétation

Do not confuse translators and interpreters

Translators only translate written documents. They strive to translate the text assigned to them with the greatest possible accuracy.

Interpreters provide oral transposition from one language to another, and serve as intermediaries during a conversation or discussion between persons speaking different languages.

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