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Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreting

SIMULTANEOUS

How does it work?

  • Real-time interpreting, with only a few seconds of lag
  • No need to plan for extra time
  • Two interpreters are needed to allow for rest breaks to maintain the quality of interpretation; it is mentally taxing to listen and interpret at the same time, and studies show that quality decreases after 20-30 minutes without a break

Participants

  • Group of individuals (3 or more)
  • Multiple speakers of the same language are present, in addition to individuals who do not speak that language

Example:

  • A family therapy session: bilingual family members may speak to the provider in English, and LEP family members need to know what is being said in real time; family members may converse with one another in Spanish and the provider needs to know what is going on in real-time.
  • Several English-speaking staff, a bilingual child, and the Russian-speaking parents of the child at an IEP meeting
  • Several Vietnamese speakers at a conference presented in English
  • Individuals who are not able to participate in turn-taking, and whose utterances must be interpreted in real-time, are present

Example:

  • Some mental health patients

Turn-taking

  • Interjections are more likely
  • Speakers of the same language respond to each other without waiting for the interpreter to interpret into the other language
  • Group is too large for interpreter to manage turn-taking

Settings

  • Trainings
  • Conferences
  • Meetings
  • Family counseling sessions

Supplies Needed

  • Headsets and microphones, especially in the conference setting (in small-group settings, these may not be necessary)
  • Detailed information about the appointment, as well as materials such as slideshows, should be provided to the interpreter ahead of time, particularly for specialized topics
  • The interpreter may use a pen and paper to make note of names and numbers.

CONSECUTIVE

How does it work?

  • Each speaker’s utterances are interpreted after they finish speaking
  • Extra time needed
  • One interpreter can generally cover a consecutive appointment because the interpreter is able to alternate between listening and speaking.

Participants

  • 1:1 or a limited number of participants

Example:

  • A patient and a provider for an annual checkup
  • A parent-teacher meeting where only the teacher and parents are present

Turn-taking

  • Participants wait for the interpreter to finish interpreting into their language to respond
  • Turn-taking is natural because without waiting for the interpreter the parties won’t understand each other
  • For longer utterances, some pauses to allow for interpretation and check for comprehension from the other party
  • If more than 2 people are present, the group is small enough that the interpreter is able to manage the flow of communication, asking parties to pause if necessary and preventing interjections

Settings

  • Physical exams
  • Imaging
  • 1:1 counseling

Equipment Needed

  • Interpreters may use pen and paper to take notes in order to accurately interpret longer utterances.
  • Basic information about the nature of the appointment should be communicated to the interpreter ahead of time, particularly if it is a specialized appointment

To learn more about how we can help with your next translation project please email us at sales@linguava.com

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