Consecutive Interpretation is a type of human translation. The process involves a speaker who speaks a few sentences first. An interpreter notes down these sentences, usually using pen and paper, and then once the speaker is done speaking, the interpreter translates for the audience using the microphone given to them. It is quite an important profession, and several universities offer specialized courses in consecutive Interpretation.
A consecutive interpreter must be able to express what is spoken in a manner and language that is understood by the audience. This includes jokes, cultural references, as well as certain language-specific words.
What are the factors involved in consecutive Interpretation?
Consecutive Interpretation can be very beneficial when used in the right place at the right time, and it prevents misunderstandings and allows communication to occur effectively. However, certain factors must be kept in mind before using consecutive Interpretation.
- Format of the event – The best places to use consecutive Interpretation are press interviews, personal interviews, business meetings, HR meetings, parent-teacher meetings, medical consultations, court hearings, professional sports and other formal events. This is because these meetings often involve limited, relevant people and require accurate and to-the-point translations that consecutive Interpretation can offer. Sometimes these places need consecutive conference interpreting, mostly used in diplomatic visits.
- The time between speaking and interpreting – Depending on the length of the speech or speaking time, the needs of a consecutive interpreter will differ. In the case of a small address, the interpreter can interpret it in one go. They are used to retaining lots of information. In the case of longer speeches, both the speaker and interpreter must be aware of when to stop and switch so that the audience does not lose track of the conversation or miss out on important information. It also helps the listener concentrate.
- Knowledge of interpreter – Undoubtedly, the most crucial factor is the interpreter’s knowledge. The job of an interpreter is to convey the speaker’s message rather than just memorizing it and directly translating it. This requires extensive knowledge of 2 languages – the speaker’s and the audience’s language. These bilingual interpreters must be able to translate cultural references, know the appropriate idioms and phrases, and have an expansive lexicon.
- Situational awareness – An often overlooked part of Interpretation is the knowledge they have of the speech itself. In a business meeting, for example, the interpreter must have detailed knowledge of the product being sold, the motto and values of the company, and a general idea of the client’s personality to truly sell the product. These tidbits of information can come in very handy.
- Background noises – This factor might seem inconsequential, but unnecessary noises can distract an interpreter. Their job is hard enough, translating two different languages in split seconds, and hearing words of those languages in the background or loud sounds can confuse the interpreter.
What are the skills required for a consecutive interpreter?
The Consecutive mode of interpreting is not an easy job, and most interpreters require at least 2+ years of experience to be considered good at their job. They need a specific skill set, which involves:
- Extensive knowledge of the languages is a very obvious requirement, but it involves knowing the inside out of a culture and its language peculiarities. They must be an accomplished language interpreter with good critical thinking skills.
- Impeccable memory – Being able to retain a large amount of information and note it in a manner that is easy to understand and translate is an underrated skill.
- Astuteness and cognizance – It also involves the need to be able to analyze the words being spoken quickly. When a message is relayed in another language, different words and varied grammar are involved.
- A vast comprehension of the information – An essential skill is to distinguish between primary and secondary data. They need to translate all the important information accurately and ensure that the observer receives the key points well.
What are the benefits of Consecutive Interpretation?
- Reliable translation. Interpreters can convey the right feel and tone in the language understood by the audience.
- In consecutive translations, the interpreter has time to analyze and reconstruct sentences. This way, they can truly convey the message and pass on the correct meaning.
- Since the speaker and interpreter speak in turns during consecutive interpretations, the audience can pay attention.
- No expensive equipment is required at all, making it relatively cost-effective. The only thing ever needed is a pen and a notebook.
This is why choosing the right interpreter or Interpretation services is fundamental. There is much responsibility that lies on their shoulders. So the experience and expertise of the interpreter play a significant role. While it may be challenging to ensure the quality of the service, entrusting a reliable company to handle this issue is the next best solution.
White Globe provides the best and easiest onsite interpreter services on-demand. We have simplified the process, so you receive professional onsite interpreting services when and where you need them. We have added many features to our Interpreter App so you can schedule your next onsite interpreting service as easily as 1-2-3.
Most frequent questions and answers
Ans: Long consecutive – these interpretations last up to several passages long, and they could range from 5 to 30 mins of long passages. This way, the speaker delivers their speech in a single take, in one go, followed by the translation.
Short consecutive – this is used when the speaker wants to establish a rapport with the audience, and the translation occurs every two sentences.
Ans: Students learn to analyze the source text, prioritize information, and accurately deliver the Interpretation. They have to go through a series of standardized tests to get a certification
Ans: Excellent command of two or more languages, critical thinking, analytical and logical skills, ability to retain and prioritize information, and a likeable personality.