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.
Last week we started with what will be a series of three posts about interpretation.The Interpreter: a writer or a talker?was the first one of the series. Now we will explore what been an interpreter entails by first explaining what is a mode.
By mode we understand, the setting in which the interpretation is performed.
These are the modes:
Conference- it takes place in a conference such as, UN congresses. It can be simultaneous or consecutive.
Juridical- simultaneous or consecutive. It comes with a high level of responsibility; a mediocre interpreter or one that has not been sworn could overrule a trial. This mode is more notorious since the 9/11 trials.
Escort- is a type of liaison interpretation. The interpreter accompanies a person or group to an interview or tour.
Marketing- the interpreter sits inside a soundproof booth and, with the help of headphones to hear the speaker; delivers the message in the target language. There is a mirror that lets the interpreter see the audience. He has to also imitate the tone, laughs and emotions of the speaker.
Public Sector- or community interpretation. There are several elements that can affect the outcome if this interpretation, such as: the emotional content; a hostile environment; stress or; the hierarchy levels of the subjects involved.
Medical- a subdivision of the Public Sector Interpretation. A thorough knowledge of medical terminology and practices is a must. They are usually formally instructed and certified. Medical interpreters allow the communication between the medical staff and their patients.
Media- The interpreter watches the speaker from a screen. Due to the nature of this kind of interpretation, it is done simultaneously and, can be very stressful because of many external elements such as: background noise, and technical difficulties in live broadcasts. We can see this kind of interpretation in the Olympics or interviews to politicians.
Sing Language- an interpreter with no hearing problems conveys the message to a non- hearing person through sing language, and vice-versa.
Now you have the necessary tools to ask for what you really need. Remember: the more you know, the more you save, in terms of time and money.
When I went to see the movie The Interpreter starring Nicole Kidman in 2005 I thought that for sure, the role of interpreter versus translatorwould be clarified. After-all, Nicole Kidman was the main character and lots of people were going to watch the movie, right? The movie had a large attendance indeed, but, I believe, there is still a general misunderstanding about an interpreter’s job.
Wikipedia defines language interpretation as “the facilitation of oral or sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between users of different languages.” Oral is the keyword here! The main difference is that interpreters talk and translators write.
Interpretation is not limited to changing-over a message from a source language; rather it is executing the act of interpretation in different ways. These methods can vary greatly according to the job requirements including:
8 interpretation modes/classifications depending on the setting (ex. conference, court, medical settings etc.)
6 interpretation types/techniques used to perform the interpretation (ex. simultaneous, consecutive, etc.) Interpretation can also take place on-site, by phone, or video.
Team approach to interpretation
Interpreters sometimes work in pairs due to the extreme demands of the interpretation process. While one interpreter speaks the other may take notes, and they take turns performing the interpretation. This approach works best during an extended meeting where interpretation is required.
More than words
Interpretation is not a word-for-word translation. Interpreters have a short window to perform their task, and there is usually no time for research. They have to rely on their experience and skills for speed and accuracy. The interpreter must convey the most important aspects of a speech in the shortest amount of time.
The right interpreter can make all the difference in reaching your intended audience. Preparation, training, experience, and areas of expertise are all things to consider when choosing your interpretation services to ensure you have the right outcome.