From simultaneous interpretation to escort interpreting – we have the right solution for you
Interpreters provide an oral translation of the spoken word at events of all kinds. The spectrum is vast, ranging from international conferences, specialist congresses, escorting clients to business or private appointments to assignments at court. Despite the wide scope of jobs, we differentiate between two types of interpreting: Simultaneous and consecutive interpretation.
Simultaneous interpreting and conference interpreting
Simultaneous interpreters (often also known as conference interpreters) are fully qualified linguists who have specialised in oral translation at multilingual events. They are required when participants and speakers do not speak the same language.
Due to the fact that Switzerland has several national languages, German, French and Italian interpreters are frequently needed for specialist congresses, corporate events, annual general meetings and conventions. They are also often booked for in-house training sessions and meetings, where they will interpret papers and presentations into the national languages of the participants.
Simultaneous interpretation requires an extremely high degree of concentration. For this reason, two interpreters usually work as a team. In many cases it is essential that they work in a soundproof booth to ensure that they can focus fully on the job and not disturb other participants. In addition, it is necessary to have the right technical infrastructure such as a transmission system that sends the interpreter’s output to the delegates. Frequently, a great number of languages are required for international conferences so it is essential that the simultaneous interpreting equipment is reliable and works without a hitch. Congress organisers sometimes opt for a cost-effective compromise and provide only English interpreters to cater for the majority of participants.
We will be happy to advise you and propose a team of interpreters and technical infrastructure that best meets the requirements of your event. On request, we will install the technical infrastructure, coordinate operations with sound engineers on site and make sure that the interpreters can do their jobs well.
Consecutive and escort interpreting
The term consecutive interpreting is not commonly used in everyday language. We are often met with questioning faces when we mention the option. In this context, consecutive (i.e. one after the other) means that the interpreter waits for the speaker to finish a section of speech and then conveys what has been said in the target language. Consecutive interpreting is normally used in short speeches, interviews, bilateral meetings or negotiations involving a small number of participants. The term escort interpreting is frequently used in this context.
This type of interpreting is normally quite straightforward and does not need any additional interpreting equipment. However, it is important to note that the duration of the event or conversation, etc. will take at least double as long because every sentence is repeated in the target language. For this reason, consecutive interpreting is not suitable for events that require interpretation into several languages.
Interpretation services for courts and local authorities
Interpreting for courts and local authorities is a special case. We not only employ fully qualified interpreters but also linguists who have completed special training programmes to become certified court interpreters.
By contrast, if the focus is merely on facilitating communication beentween parties (police inquiries or clarification required by local authorities) or if an interpreter is required for a rare language at short notice, a lay interpreter might be called in for the job.