A term is used to refer to the oral translation of a spoken message or text. The history of interpreting is not well documented, although it is generally agreed that as an activity it is older than written translation. It differs from this latter in a number of important respects. Firstly, the communication skills, which it requires are clearly different, as interpreters need to be expert oral communicators. Secondly, while translators often have relatively unlimited opportunity to make alterations and improvements before submitting a final version, interpreters are required to create a finished product in ‘real time’ without the possibility of going back and making revisions; in other words interpreting, unlike written translation, is both non-correctable and non-verifiable. Thirdly, interpreters must ensure that any background knowledge, which they are likely to need has been acquired in advance; seeking colleague’s advice or consulting reference works is not generally possible during the actual process of interpreting. Fourthly, interpreters are performers who are constantly making split- second decisions and taking communicative risks; consequently, they typically experience higher stress level while on the job than most translators. Various types of interpreting can be distinguished either by the context in which it occurs (conference interpreting, court interpreting, community interpreting, liaison interpreting) or in the way in which it is carried out (consecutive interpreting, liaison interpreting, simultaneous interpreting, chouchoutage).
One of the two basic modes of interpreting (See also ‘Simultaneous interpreting’). The interpreter listen to a (sometimes fairly lengthy) section of a speech delivered in source language, and makes notes; such notes tend to serve simply as a brief memory aid rather than being a shorthand transcription of all that is said. The speaker then pauses to allow the interpreter to render what has been said into target language; when the section has been interpreted, the speaker resumes with the next section, until the whole speech has been delivered and interpreted into target language. Consecutive interpreting thus entails a number of different abilities and skills, including a high level of source language comprehension, advanced note-taking skills, excellent general knowledge, an accurate memory, and a confident manner of delivery. The procedure differs from simultaneous interpreting in that the comprehension and production of speech are separated. Since the speaker and the interpreter do not talk at the same time, it is clearly a more prolonged process than simultaneous interpreting.
A term used to refer to one of two main modes of interpreting (See also ‘Consecutive interpreting’). In simultaneous interpreting the interpreter acts as a kind of invisible presence. Sitting in a special booth and working with headphones and a microphone, s/he listens to source language speech and reformulates it in target language as it is delivered. The technique was first employed during the Nuremberg Trial after the end of the Second World War and is now typically used in settings such as conferences. In view of the intensive nature of the task interpreters tend to work in 20- 30 minutes shifts, and there will usually be two interpreters in the booth at any one time. Ideally, the “off-duty” one will be able to provide assistance as and when required. Interpreters have to cope with three major constraints. Firstly, simultaneous interpreting occurs at a pace dictated by the speaker. Secondly, at any one time the interpreter will only have recourse to a small segment of the text; s/he will therefore often “play safe” in order to avoid creating potential problems later on. Thirdly, the interpreter may not possess the general of specialized knowledge, which the speaker expects in the audience.
A kind of interpreting used to provide access to public service for a person who does not speak the majority language of the community in which s/he lives. The settings in which it is used include police, schools, public safety, employment interviews, and health care settings. While a few decades ago community interpreting was regularly performed by untrained bilinguals, it is now acquiring a more professional profile in response to the increasingly multicultural and multilingual nature of many modern societies. Community interpreting normally occurs in a one-to-one setting and tends to be bi-directional; it is generally performed consecutively, although differs from consecutive proper in that the message is usually interpreted sentence by sentence and the interpreter does not therefore generally need to take notes. The same as ‘Liaison interpreting’.
The most difficult form of interpreting, in which the interpreter sits next to the client for whom s/he is interpreting and whispers the interpreted version of what is being said into the client’s ear. It is used in various settings, such as business meetings, conferences, and trials, when there are only one or two participants maximum, who need interpreting. It is usually carried out simultaneously, but occasionally consecutively. However, it does not classify as simultaneous proper because the interpreter does not work from the boot. The same as ‘Whispered interpreting’.
A term used to refer to the unprepared, usually oral translation of a written text, e.g., in conference interpreting, when the interpreter receives a text on the spot and the delegate wants it to be read out.