Consecutive interpreting – a technique of a different kind.
Consecutive interpreting is mainly used during welcome speeches, table or festive speeches, guided tours and bilateral negotiations. As with liaison interpreting, interpreters translate what is being said into the other language with a time delay. The speech is divided into several sections, so that the interpreter does not have to reproduce blocks that are too long and nothing is lost in terms of content.
Whether one or two interpreters need to be present depends on the length of the event. For a short welcome speech, one interpreter is sufficient. If the event lasts for one, two or more hours, the interpreters must take turns to ensure a high standard of interpreting.
Important: If consecutive interpreting is used, the duration of the event must be doubled.
Interpreting without interpreting equipment
Instead of using complex interpreting equipment, as in simultaneous interpreting, a very special technique is used in consecutive interpreting. Equipped with a pen and pad, the interpreters take notes during the speech using a special note-taking technique. Although it may seem obvious, this is not the same as shorthand. Due to the speed of the talking, it would be almost impossible to record every single word. Instead, units of meaning are noted down with the help of symbols and drawings.
This technique is learned during interpreting studies, and everyone develops their own style over the years. This is why interpreters usually find it difficult or impossible to read their colleagues’ notes.
However, the most important thing in consecutive interpreting is to listen – the notes should only serve as a thought aid.
Is consecutive interpreting just the thing for your next event? Then please contact us – with our highly qualified Swiss interpreters and our many years of experience, we will be happy to put the finishing touches to your planning.