What are some basic interpretation techniques?

As the name itself indicates, interpretation is done simultaneously. The speaker speaks in continuous flow, giving some pauses / breathers. Here the Interpreter should be very quick in interpreting & delivering. The speaker delivers his speech in source language. The interpreter sits in a sound-proof booth, speaks through microphone, while clearly seeing, hearing the source language speaker through ear-phones. The simultaneous Interpretation is rendered to the target language listeners through their ear-phones. Simultaneous Interpretation saves lot of time and is very economical. It is very much in use in conferences, International meetings. This type of interpretation is quite successful where there is a large number of participants.

Consecutive Interpretation technique

In consecutive Interpretation Technique, the interpreter speaks, after source language speaker has finished his speech / message, or the speaker has given some time-pause, for the purpose of interpreting his speech from source language to target language. In this type of Interpretation the Interpreter sits or stands next to the speaker, listening and taking notes as the speaker progresses. Consecutive interpretation can be further divided into two types:

1) Short consecutive interpretation wherein the interpreter relies on his memory, each message segment being short enough to memorize.

2) Long consecutive interpretation, wherein the interpreter takes notes of the message to aid rendering long passages.

These things are established with the client beforehand, depending upon the subject, its complexity, and the purpose of interpretation. Earlier, the interpreter used to take 20 to 30 minutes, but today, 10 or 15 minutes is considered long for holding large audiences to hear a speech in a foreign language they cannot understand. Consecutive interpretation requires a proper understanding between speaker and interpreter before the actual speech is delivered. As per the understanding between speaker and interpreter, the speaker may give enough pauses for the interpreter to interpret after every sentence so that target audiences are in the flow of the speech. The second best option is to let the speaker finish his speech in source language. The Interpreter then interprets the entire text of speech in target language, as near to the source language as possible with out losing the essence and keeping originality to the core.

Whispered Interpretation Technique

In whispered interpreting, the interpreter sits or stands next to the small target-language audience whilst whispering a simultaneous interpretation of the matter to hand; this method requires no equipment, but may be done via a microphone and headphones if the participants prefer.

Relay Interpretation Technique

Relay interpreting is usually used when there are several target languages. A source-language interpreter interprets the text to a language common to every interpreter, who then renders the message to their respective target languages. For example, a Japanese source message is first rendered to English to a group of interpreters, who listen to the English and render the message into Arabic, French, and Russian, the other target languages. In heavily multilingual meetings, there may be more than one “intermediate” language, i.e. a Greek source language could be interpreted into English and then from English to other languages, and, at the same time, it may also be directly interpreted into French, and from French into yet more languages. This solution is most often used in the multilingual meetings of the EU institutions.

Liaison Interpretation Technique

This technique is usually relaying what is spoken to one person or group to another set of people from source language to target language. Here the interpretation can be done sentence after sentence or after the completion of the entire speech. Since the groups are very much limited in numbers, there is no need for any equipment. As the name itself indicates, this is mainly used for liaison purposes in small groups.

Written by Ram Kesarwani.

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