Consecutive Interpreting

Interpreting is the method by which the spoken word is transferred from one language into another. It involves the interpreter converting the words spoken in the ‘source’ language into a second or ‘target’ language as accurately as possible, conveying intonation, feeling and semantic element used by the speaker. 

Consecutive interpreting calls for the interpreter to convey what has been spoken after the source-language speaker has completed a section of their speech. The interpreter sits or stands adjacent to the speaker, carefully listening to what is being said and takes notes. As soon as the speaker finishes or pauses the interpreter conveys to the audience what has been said in the target language.

A skilled interpreter has a very efficient and complex method of taking notes of the speech and is able to listen very actively, in order to remember and reproduce the speech accurately and faithfully in another language.

consecutive interpreting

Consecutive interpreting doesn’t require specialist equipment such as high-quality microphones or headsets. This method gives interpreters more time to communicate the speaker’s message and that allows to convey the speech more fluently, with appropriate emotion and right intonation and melody of each sentence.

The fragments of speech in consecutive interpreting that need to be translated have to be shorter than 10 minutes, as studies prove that people feel uncomfortable when listening to somebody speaking in a foreign language for too long.

The quality level of consecutive interpreting will be higher if the interpreter knows in advance the topic of the speech. Very important is also the setup of the meeting or event, which has an impact on the interpreter’s deliver of the speech, it is helpful di consider the level of background noise as well: the interpreter need to hear the speech clearly.

Consecutive interpretating is especially suited for meetings with a relatively small number of people involved such as:

• Press conferences

• Interviews

• Presentations

• Teleconferences

• Business meetings

• One-on-one exchanges in general