Interpretation and translation are two closely related linguistic disciplines. Yet they are rarely performed by the same people. The difference in skills, training, aptitude and even language knowledge are so substantial that few people can do both successfully on a professional level.
On the surface, the difference between interpreting and translation is only the difference in the medium: the interpreter converts information from one language to another orally, while a translator converts information from one language to another via a written text. Both interpreting and translation presuppose a certain love of language and a deep knowledge of more than one language
The following modes of interpretation that I provide:
1. Simultaneous Interpretation: The interpreter hears the message produced by the speaker, usually through a headset and renders the message into a microphone almost simultaneously. Appropriate audio equipment is required for this type of interpreting. Two interpreters are required.
2. Consecutive Interpretation: The speaker stops speaking every 1-5 minutes (usually at the end of every "paragraph" or complete thought) and the interpreter then steps in to render what was said into the target language. Contracting clients must be aware of the extra time that this type of interpretation requires.
3. Whispered Interpretation: The interpreter is seated or standing among the clients and interprets simultaneously directly into their ear. This mode of interpreting can be used only for very few clients sitting or standing close together. It is used mainly in bilateral meetings or in groups where only a few people do not share a common language. Whispered interpretation is often used instead of consecutive interpretation in order to save time. Two interpreters are required.
4. Liaison Interpretation: The interpreter accompanies the client to events such as guided visits, trade shows, fairs, factories, formal dinners, etc., where a language which the client does not speak is spoken. This type of interpretation is generally contracted by small groups or individuals. The advantage is that the contact between the client and the interpreter is more direct and close, which allows the interpreter to explain cultural peculiarities and give advice on how clients should conduct themselves in culturally sensitive situations.
Adapted from the following websites: The European Commission; Language Scientific
Why do I need more than one interpreter for my event?
After 1 hour of continuous work, the interpreter's brain becomes fatigued and the quality of the interpretation suffers, with an increase in errors and omissions. For this reason, a team of interpreters is used.
Research into interpreter fatigue has shown an increase in errors after continuous interpreting for 15-30 minutes depending on the technicality of the content and speed of the discourse (Moser Mercer, Kunzli & Korac, 1998; Brasel, 1976). With two (or more) interpreters, the team can rotate which interpreter is “active” allowing for the interpreter who was just in the active role to work in the supporting role. Thus enabling a semi-recovery period for each interpreter until they rotate back into the more active role.
The interpreter in the supporting role is responsible for monitoring “miscues” such as omissions and additions (Cokely, D. 1982) in the interpretation and offering corrections to ensure the interpretation follows the original discourse as closely as possible. A team of qualified interpreters for meetings or other assignments helps ensure the goal of “effective communication” as mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice in the Americans with Disabilities Act (2014).