Consecutive interpretation services

We know we haven’t had any articles for you over the last couple of weeks, but we thought we all deserved a little break. A so-called respite, to digest the information provided so far.

In the last article we started discussing another category of services, namely interpretation services, and in particular, we talked about simultaneous interpreting.

In today’s article we will talk about consecutive interpretation services. As with simultaneous interpreting, the name of the service explains the process. The speaker utters a sentence or a phrase, then pauses, and the interpreter verbally translates the speaker’s message.

Simple, isn’t it? Anyone can do that!

But let’s imagine the following scenario. A press conference. The interpreter sits somewhere further away from the speaker, sometimes even hidden from public view. They are surrounded by journalists typing away on laptops or on tablets. The speaker can’t communicate visually with the interpreter and doesn’t know if something is wrong. The interpreter’s job becomes a little more difficult, but not impossible.

However, for successful events, make sure that the interpreter sits as close as possible to the speaker, standing or on a chair near the speaker. The two people involved in this “dance” must follow the same rhythm. And the easiest way is for them to communicate as directly and easily as possible.

Where do you meet an interpreter?

At conferences on various topics, at lectures, in business meetings, in court, in the public notary office and in many more other places.

But what exactly is needed when it comes to consecutive interpreting?

First of all, you need an interpreter specialised in this field. Just as there are translators who only do written translations, there are also interpreters who only provide one of the services. And how to proceed? Simply tell the interpreter that you need consecutive interpreting.

Apart from the specialist, what else is needed?

As mentioned in previous articles, the interpreter is a language specialist. They must prepare for each individual event. So it would be advisable to provide some materials in advance, especially when it is a specialized domain.

Below we have listed a few other elements necessary during any interpretation.

Interpreters often secure these items in advance. However, we think it is useful for all parties involved to know what is really necessary for the consecutive interpreter:

  • Water is absolutely necessary for a simultaneous or consecutive interpreter;
  • Notepad or a tablet for taking notes (such as numbers or names or other helpful terms). Surely you’ve seen at least once a consecutive interpreter who takes lots of notes. But these are only for the interpreter to understand.
  • A chair to sit on when the interpreter’s services are not needed. And that’s because no one likes to stand for hours on end.
  • And if you want the interpreter to stand next to the speaker and speak into the microphone, provide a fixed microphone and the opportunity to take notes.

If you have at least these minimum elements in place, your event will certainly be of a much higher quality.

These were the notions we wanted to share with you today. In next week’s article we will provide you with some more information about the consecutive and simultaneous interpretation service and some “rules of the game”.

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