One of the most frequent questions clients ask translation agencies is: What is the difference between simultaneous and consecutive interpretation?


What is simultaneous interpretation?

It is more than likely that you have attended a conference, debate or workshop with a foreign speaker and that you have been given headphones to allow you to keep up with the discussion in your own language in real-time. This is simultaneous interpretation, which is performed by professional specialists sitting in a sound booth. The speaker talks without interruption, with the interpreter listening to what is being said while repeating it in the target language.


What is consecutive interpretation?

This service requires no equipment. Instead, the interpreter waits until the speaker has finished talking in their native language before repeating what they said in the target language. The discussion is broken into segments, and when the speaker pauses or stops talking, the interpreter will translate part or all of what was said into the target language This type of interpretation is suitable for shorter or more dynamic events, such as meetings, dinners, fairs, factory or office visits or even for guided tours.


Still unsure? Traductanet’s Interpretation Service offers advice on the most appropriate type of interpretation for your event (consecutive or simultaneous), as well as help select the interpretation team and the necessary technical equipment.

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