Whatever type of interpreting you may need, it is important to remember that when choosing an interpreter, expert knowledge of the subject matter is equally as important as interpreting experience. Interpreters must have extraordinary listening abilities. In addition, interpreters must possess excellent public speaking skills, and the intellectual capacity to instantly transform idioms, colloquialisms and other culturally-specific references into parallel statements the target audience will understand.
The interpreter takes notes of the original speech and translates it by segments after the short interventions of the speaker. This type of language interpretation is used for interviews, meetings, presentations, press conferences, trials (sworn interpreting), etc.
In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter translates the speech from a booth as he/she hears the speaker. Thus, the audience can simultaneously follow the contents of the intervention using headphones.
This type of language interpretation is normally used in congresses, conferences, speeches, institutional events, ceremonies, etc.
Escort/travel interpreters can behave almost as an assistant, helping clients to navigate while they are traveling around on (business) trips. These interpreters may accompany clients to a meeting or to a handful of meetings.
These escort/travel interpreters are not just interpreters, but often act as cultural liaisons, responsible for everything from ordering food to closing multi-million dollar business deals.
Whisper Interpreting (chouchoutage)
Whisper interpreting is similar to simultaneous interpreting but the interpreter does not use a headset or microphone, rather the interpreter sits next to the person (or group of people) who require interpreting and whispers or speaks softly while interpreting in the target language. This form of interpreting is much harder on the interpreter’s voice.
This is often used for a business meeting where just one person requires interpreting, or for example, in a courtroom where someone in the back of the room requires interpreting to understand what is being said.
Scheduled Telephone Interpreting / (OPI or Over-the-Phone Interpretation)
Scheduled telephone interpreting (also called OPI or Over-the-Phone Interpretation) can be either simultaneous or consecutive. This form of interpreting is performed during an established appointment where the interpreter does not see both parties in person, but executes the interpreting via telephone.
If the participants of a call are content to hear only the voice of the interpreter, telephone interpreting can be conducted in a simultaneous mode; otherwise interpreting should be conducted consecutively.
If the interpreter does not see the speakers and has no access to extra-linguistic clues to the speaker’s meaning and context, the accuracy of simultaneous telephone interpreting may be significantly lower than for consecutive over-the-phone Interpreting. Most generally, phone interpreting is conducted consecutively.
On-Demand Phone Interpreting
On-Demand Phone Interpreting is for individuals or organizations that need to communicate across language barriers immediately. This form of interpreting is performed when a party calls a service, selects the required language pair and is connected to an interpreter. The interpreter then comes on the line and interprets the conversation.
On-Demand Phone Interpreting is often used by customer service call centers, and by companies, organizations, pharmacies, medical and legal institutions who interact with the limited English proficiency (LEP) population and require interpreting on-demand.
The benefit of On-Demand Phone Interpreting is that it makes interpreting available within minutes. However, it is important to note that the interpreter is coming into the conversation blind and may not have the required background information to make the interpretation as successful.
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