Interpretation Services

While the outcome of translation is written text, interpretation is rendered verbally. An interpreter conveys not only the content of speech, but also its style and tone, taking into account cultural and linguistic nuances.

Simultaneous Interpreting

This consists of conveying the meaning of what an orator says “in real time”, and includes a number of modalities:

  • Stationary equipment: Interpreters sit in sound-proofed booths and communicate with the meeting through microphones and earphones. Although this equipment costs more, many customers prefer it because of the formality it lends an event. It is specially useful in the case of large conferences (100+ attendants).
  • Portable equipment: The receivers / headphones used by listeners, and the transmitter / microphone carried by the interpreters are wireless and fully portable. They do not require amplification for the room, as the interpreters go where they can hear well and speak in a soft voice to avoid interrupting. Its flexibility and easy handling make this type of equipment ideal for small meetings, short interviews, open-air events, and field trips.
  • A cappella: The interpreter speaks loudly or with a microphone, while the orator speaks softly or without a microphone. It is not very well received, as it can confuse the speaker and keep those who do not require the interpretation from hearing the original delivery. Therefore, it is only used as a last resort when for some reason stationary or portable equipment cannot be used. It is humorously known as the “mother-in-law technique” (you talk and I shout).
  • Whispering or chuchotage: The interpreter sits or stands close to one or two listeners and summarizes the presentation contents in a low voice. This precludes the need for electronic equipment, although it may be uncomfortable for listeners, interpreters and other participants, so portable equipment may used anyway.
  • Sight translation: Also known as text interpretation or oral translation, this is a hybrid of translation and interpretation, in which the interpreter gets the original message from a written text instead of a verbal presentation. In a good sight translation, the interpreter seems to be reading the text in the target language.
  • Videoconferences: Due to the high hourly costs for videoconferencing, simultaneous interpretation is often preferred. This requires a special technical setup, which means working with firms that have experience with videoconference interpretation.

Consecutive Interpreting

In this case the interpretation is rendered after the orator has spoken, which takes up to twice as long as simultaneous interpreting. It includes:

  • Simconsec: This abbreviation of simultaneous/consecutive means that the interpreter records part of the presentation with a digital recorder and then listens to the recording while interpreting out load. This is the most accurate, advanced consecutive interpretation technique, also known as DRACI (Digital Recorder Assisted Consecutive Interpretation).
  • Note-taking: The interpreter takes notes of a portion of a presentation and then interprets it out load. The result tends to be an abbreviated version of the original, which saves a little time but risks losing some of the original content.
  • Rapid-fire: The interpreter interrupts the speaker after each sentence or phrase, depending solely on short-term memory. It tends to be the consecutive technique of preference in the case of dynamic and/or dramatic locutions such as sermons and short interventions during an artistic performance.
  • Escort: The interpreter accompanies one or more customers during such activities as visits, interviews, shopping, tourism, etc., serving not only as an interpreter but also as a cultural liaison and tour guide.
  • Telephone interpretation: The two parties join a three-party phone call with the interpreter, who works consecutively. This method tends to be used more for medical visits and business calls.