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What is interpreting?

Types of interpreting

As interpreters we use different kinds of interpreting techniques, depending on the situation:

  • Simultaneous interpreting
    The interpreter translates what is said into another language with the help of simultaneous interpreting equipment, whilst the speaker is speaking. This technique is generally used if the conference or congress is relatively large, or if the work involves more than two languages. In principle, two or three conference interpreters per language work together in a booth.

  • Consecutive interpreting
    The interpreter renders what is said into another language after the speaker has finished making his or her remarks. Usually no interpreting equipment is used in these situations. This technique is particularly suitable for events with a limited number of participants, such as seminars, product presentations or press conferences for example, where interpreting is only required into one language.

  • Liaison interpreting
    The interpreter renders what is said in both directions between two or more people in a conversation. He or she interprets individual sentences or short passages of speech. This kind of interpreting is most commonly used at business meetings, factory tours or in court.

  • Whispered interpreting
    There are two different sub-types of whispered interpreting. If there is a maximum of two listeners, the interpreter will sit behind them simultaneously interpreting what is said in a quiet voice. For tours, the interpreter uses "whispering equipment" (personal guide equipment) which consists of a microphone and headphones. At least two interpreters are needed for this kind of interpreting. Whispered interpreting is only suitable for very small events with a time limit, or for negotiations.