Interpretation is now an essential service in today's global market. No successful international event without simultaneous
interpretation. In simultaneous interpretation (SI), one interpreter is used for each language combination. E.g. English-French,
or English-Portuguese, etc. The interpreter renders the message in the target-language based on his language combination as
quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks; an
oral-language SI interpreter, sitting in a sound-proof booth, speaks into a microphone, while clearly seeing and hearing the
source-language speaker via earphones. The simultaneous interpretation is rendered to the target-language listeners via their
earphones. Moreover, SI is the common mode used by sign language interpreters, although the person using the source language,
the interpreter and the target language recipient (since either the hearing person or the deaf person may be delivering the
message) must necessarily be in close proximity.
These simple radio systems have been developed to enable interpreters or guides to talk to groups of people on the move,
while they are visiting tourist attractions, factories, places, exhibits, etc.
The system operates so that the group listens via their headsets to one speaker who speaks in a particular language while
a simultaneous interpreter in the back ground is also listening to the same speaker and interpreting what he is hearing
directly in the hears of the listeners who hear it in their particular language.
Occasionally a group will be divided into different language groups in which case each group will have headsets that are
linked back to one interpreter based on their language.
The system is not designed for participant interventions. But this can be accommodated by the additional use of other system
such as our Public Address systems (PA systems) with a roving microphone.
In consecutive interpreting (CI), the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has finished speaking. The speech
is divided into segments, and the interpreter sits or stands beside the source-language speaker, listening and taking notes
as the speaker progresses through the message. When the speaker pauses or finishes speaking, the interpreter then renders a
portion of the message or the entire message in the target language.
Consecutive interpretation is rendered as "short CI" or "long CI". In short CI, the interpreter relies on memory, each message
segment being brief enough to memorize. In long CI, the interpreter takes notes of the message to aid rendering long passages.
These informal divisions are established with the client before the interpretation is effected, depending upon the subject,
its complexity, and the purpose of the interpretation.
On occasion, document sight translation is required of the interpreter during consecutive interpretation work. Sight translation
combines interpretation and translation; the interpreter must render the source-language document to the target-language as if it
were written in the target language. Sight translation occurs usually, but not exclusively, in judicial and medical work.
To avoid confusions and waste of time, consecutive interpretation is advisable only when the meeting will have one language
combination. e.g. English-Spanish.
In whispered interpreting (chuchotage, in French), the interpreter sits or stands between two delegates or next to one person
or to a small target-language audience whilst whispering to them a simultaneous interpretation of the matter to hand; this
method requires no equipment, but may be done via a microphone and headphones if the participants prefer.
Chuchotage is used in circumstances where the majority of a group speaks the source language, while a minority (ideally no more than
three people) does not.
In this case, when one of the minority delegates wishes to speak, there will be a need to use consecutive interpretation to the benefit
of the majority audience.
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