What are the different types of interpretation?

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In order to choose the right type of interpretation, it is important to know the differences between them. There are many types of interpretation, in this article, we will focus on four types: simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpretation, remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) and chuchotage (whispered interpretation).

What is interpretation?

Though translation and interpretation are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing.

Translation is a written process where one language is converted into another. This can include letters, documents, books and more. Interpretation on the other hand is when a speaker translates spoken or sign language into another language orally—it’s an oral translation of what was originally said or signed.

This is done for a variety of reasons, including business meetings and conferences, legal proceedings, medical interviews, etc. 

Simultaneous Interpretation (SI)

Simultaneous interpretation is a form of interpretation that relies on an interpreter listening to the speaker, and then translating into another language into a microphone while the speaker speaks and while the audience hears both speakers via loudspeakers. It’s used in a variety of settings but mainly international conferences and meetings.

Simultaneous interpretation is also commonly used in courtrooms and other legal proceedings. Simultaneous interpretation requires equipment such as a booth, headsets, microphones, consoles and technical support. For this type of interpretation, you need two interpreters. It requires a lot of attention and focus, and an interpreter will only translate for 20-25 minutes, then the second interpreter will take over and so on in order to guarantee a top-quality interpretation.

Consecutive Interpretation

Consecutive interpretation involves an interpreter sitting next to you while you speak your native language and then translating it into the target language for your audience member or group. This is perfect when you need to conduct business meetings or provide education sessions where one person speaks at a time. For example, if you have an important meeting with Japanese clients coming over from Tokyo next week, but none of them speaks any English, this is the kind of interpreter service that would be best suited for your needs because it allows everyone involved in the conversation time to process what’s being said before moving on with their speech or questions.”



what are the different types of interpretation?

Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI)

Remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) is very common nowadays. RSI is simultaneous interpretation but remote. So participants and interpreters can be in any part of the world. It is the same principle as SI and involves an interpreter translating simultaneously when the speaker is presenting. using an earpiece to hear the interpreter through their microphone. The interpreter will interpret in real-time, translating each sentence as it is spoken by both parties. Remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) has grown to be very popular since the pandemic allowing people all over the world to have conferences without having to travel. If more than one language needs to be interpreted, such as English into French and, say, German. Then technical support is also needed to guarantee a smooth process of the online conference. As for the SI, two interpreters are needed.


Chuchotage Interpretation (Whispered Interpretation)

It is a type of interpretation that is very close to the speaker, who speaks at a normal volume. The interpreter is physically close to the listener and whispers into their ear. This is the most discreet form of interpretation because it allows both parties to feel as if they are in an intimate conversation. It is also the most difficult type of interpretation because the interpreter has to be extremely close to both parties involved in order to hear everything clearly. This type of interpretation is mostly used for meetings between two people. It is also used in small groups and conferences where there is a need to keep discussions private, or when the interpreter needs to be very close to the speaker, such as interviews or medical examinations.

Choose what’s best for you

Hopefully, that will have helped you in your choice, but please just contact us so we can discuss your requirements in more detail. We’ll be happy to be of assistance and advise you as there are still many variations within each category.