Consecutive oral interpretation

Translation, according to one of the basic classifications, is divided into written and oral, which itself is divided into simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. This classification is reflected in several world languages (translation and interpreting, переклад and тлумачения), emphasizing lexically that oral and written translation mean significantly differing processes of intellectual activity, which have totally different approaches.

The cost of interpretation is evaluated on a time basis, and not the quantity of material translated.Thus, it is possible to pay for the interpreter’s work by the hour or the day, while written translation is valued by the number of pages or words. If the interpreter does not participate in the oral process for certain portions of the contracted time period, the cost for his work is not reduced. And the words “but the interpreter was silent almost the whole time” is not an argument and does not serve as the basis for a discount.

An order for oral interpreting should be formed in advance. It is not important whether you are interested in simultaneous or consecutive interpretation. As a first step, a professional will certainly request materials from you as to the upcoming event, and where he is supposed to work. By such a method the interpreter refreshes in his mind the lexical materials for a given theme, and may even make a new, more thoroughgoing glossary which he can use to quickly and accurate carry out the interpretation.

It is rare to resort to the services of a simultaneous translator, which isn’t surprising. Payment for his work may cost more than 10 times that of the consecutive interpreter. Besides that, simultaneous translators work in two- or three-person teams, alternating every 15 to 20 minutes: one speaks whileanother takes notes for the speaking partner as to numerical figures and difficult concepts from theprincipal’s speech, and the third partner rests during this time. Then there is a shift change, and thepartners exchange their functions. The simultaneous interpreter requires certain specialized technical equipment, e.g., a booth, earphones, and microphones. The ability to simultaneously interpret is unique, and not very many people can develop it. Simultaneous interpreters are a very small and a very rare elite.

Consecutive oral interpretation is used ten times more frequently. The speech of the principal is segmented into parts by length of phrase, sentence, or paragraph (graphic equivalents of sound units), so that during a discontinuous pause, the interpreter gives back the content of the spoken segment. Oral interpretation is not as exact as written, and requires greater concentration of attention, more careful preparation, to make it “easy in battle”. The interpreter has his code of honor and professional ethics; like the second at a duel, he is a diplomat, an ambassador, a psychologist. Unarguably, consecutive interpretation is the more interesting and in-demand subset of this field.

In choosing an agency to provide you with interpretation services, it is always worthwhile to pay attention to whether or not there are a sufficient number of staff interpreters working in your field.Personal characteristics play their role, so it is always better to choose a trusted person, and only in the case of necessity choose a new translator.