Interpreting is not just about mastering a language or two. It is also about knowledge. This is one of the features that distinguishes an interpreter from a parrot.
Liaison interpreting involves relaying what is spoken to one, between two, or among many people. This can be done after a short speech, or consecutively, sentence-by-sentence; aside from note taken then, no equipment is used. In escort interpreting, an interpreter accompanies a person or a delegation on a tour, on a visit, or to a meeting or interview. An interpreter in this role is called an escort interpreter or an escorting interpreter. This is liaison interpreting.
Consecutive interpretation is rendered as 'short CI' and 'long CI'. In short CI, the interpreter relies on memory; each message segment being brief enough to memorise. 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.
In consecutive interpreting, the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has finished speaking. The speech is divided into segments, and the CI 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 the entire message in the target language.
2. SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETING
In simultaneous interpreting (SI), the interpreter immediately speaks the message in the target-language whilst listening to it in the source language.
In simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter renders the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks; usually sitting in a sound-proof booth, the SI interpreter 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.
NOTE: Laymen often incorrectly describe SI and the SI interpreter as 'simultaneous translation' and as the 'simultaneous translator', ignoring the definite distinction between interpretation and translation.
In whispered interpreting (chuchotage, in French), the interpreter sits or stands next to the small target-language audience whilst whispering a simultaneous interpretation of the matter to hand; this method requires no equipment. Chuchotage is used in circumstances where the majority of a group speaks the source language, and a minority (ideally no more than three persons) do not speak it.
On occasion, document sight translation is required of the interpreter, usually in consecutive interpretation work. Sight translation combines interpretation and translation; the interpreter must read aloud 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.
Relay interpretation occurs when several languages are the target-language. A source-language interpreter renders the message to a language common to every interpreter, who then renders the message to his or her specific target-language. For example, a Japanese source message first is rendered to English to a group of interpreters, then it is rendered to Arabic, French, and Russian, the other target-languages.
Legal and court interpreting
Legal, court, or judicial interpreting, occurs in courts of justice, administrative tribunals, and wherever a legal proceeding is held (i.e. a conference room for a deposition or the locale for taking a sworn statement). Legal interpreting can be the consecutive interpretation of witnesses' testimony for example, or the simultaneous interpretation of entire proceedings, by electronic means, for one person, or all of the people attending.
The right to a competent interpreter for anyone who does not understand the language of the court (especially for the accused in a criminal trial) is usually considered a fundamental rule of justice. Therefore, this right is often guaranteed in national constitutions, declarations of rights, fundamental laws establishing the justice system or by precedents set by the highest courts.
Depending upon the regulations and standards adhered to per state and venue, court interpreters usually work alone when interpreting consecutively, or as a team, when interpreting simultaneously. In addition to practical mastery of the source and target languages, thorough knowledge of law and legal and court procedures is required of court interpreters. They often are required to have formal authorisation from the State to work in the Courts — and then are called certified court interpreters. In many jurisdictions, the interpretation is considered an essential part of the evidence. Incompetent interpretation, or simply failure to swear in the interpreter, can lead to a mistrial.
Public sector interpreting
Also known as community interpreting, is the type of interpreting occurring in fields such as legal, health, and local government, social, housing, environmental health, education, and welfare services. In community interpreting, factors exist which determine and affect language and communication production, such as speech's emotional content, hostile or polarized social surroundings, its created stress, the power relationships among participants, and the interpreter's degree of responsibility — in many cases more than extreme; in some cases, even the life of the other person depends upon the interpreter's work.
Interpreters need to research the specialist topics discussed at an event. They will require background material, e.g. speakers' notes, agendas and the event schedule as well as any other documentation that is also available to the participants. This is not because the interpreters are not qualified enough in terms of the subject matter, but rather to help them retrieve specialist terminology spontaneously in the source and target languages.
Professional interpreters are often completely booked up well in advance. As a result, it is very important that you book interpreting services well ahead of time. By acting early, you can avoid having to bring in interpreters who do not live near the event and thus save on travel and hotel expenses.
Do you also need interpreting equipment (e.g. interpreting booths)?