As mentioned on the post The Interpreter: the writer or the talker?, there are 6 ways in which an interpretation can be performed that are officially called types. Knowing each of these subdivisions will help clients have a clearer idea of what they need, resulting in a better communication between the client and the language service provider.
These types are:
- Simultaneous interpretation- the interpreter is inside a soundproof booth (unless doing a sign language interpretation) and with the help of headphones translates the message of the speaker as fast as possible, almost at the same time as the speaker. If the event is too long, he/she may work in pair.
- Consecutive interpretation- the interpreter starts the translation after the speaker pauses. There is short and long consecutive interpretation. In the former the interpreter only relies on his memory to perform the interpretation and in the latter, he takes notes.
- Whispered interpretation- a type of simultaneous interpretation. The interpreter sits near the audience and almost whispers the message of the speaker. It is often used with groups of people where very few do not speak the language of the speaker.
- Liaison interpretation- in a type of consecutive interpretation but, instead of conveying the message of one speaker it involves conversations among many speakers.
- Relay interpretation- it is done when there is no interpreter than can work into different languages at the same time, but there are interpreter with different language pairs that can be combined. Check the following diagram:
- Sight translation- in reality it is an interpretation but, instead of working from an oral text, it starts with a written one. This type of interpretation is more frequently used in hospitals and courts.
To learn more about interpretation, please read our Modes of Interpretation post.