Simultaneous Interpretation vs. Consecutive Interpretation: Which Is Better for Your Event?

When people with various language backgrounds meet, there is a need to bridge these language barriers. If there is no common language between them, then the only way to make them understand one another is through language interpretation.

There are two types of language interpretation: Simultaneous and Consecutive. Both have their own pros and cons and you need to identify which works best for you taking several factors into consideration.

Consecutive Interpretation

Here, a person speaks a few sentences and then stops for a while for the interpreter to repeat those sentences in the required language. In this, no equipment is required, but the biggest flaw in it is that the natural flow of speech gets disrupted.

Simultaneous Interpretation

This is a more preferred method as here the person keeps speaking and the audience can hear it simultaneously in their preferred language using a special set of headphones. Thus, there is no interruption in the flow of speech. The only requirement here is the specialized set of equipment preferably from a reputed seller like DSP tech and skilled interpreters.

If you want it for large live events, then simultaneous interpretation is the best bet as all interpreting in this happens in real time. As the audience doesn’t have to wait for the speaker to pause and interpreter to translate things in this, simultaneous interpretation is used in all conferences and business meeting.

This type of interpretation requires a lot of technical equipment like the transmitters, receivers, handsets, and microphones. The interpreters need to sit in a soundproof booth where they listen to what the speaker is saying over the headphones and immediately translate and speak in the desired language. It is quite a taxing job for the interpreter as they need to listen intently and interpret at the same time. Thus, they work in a team of two and keep switching places every half an hour or so. This way, they get the required break to recover and relax and get ready for their next slot.

Simultaneous interpretation is also useful in situations where the information needs to be interpreted in multiple languages. This mostly happens in large tour groups, lectures, training sessions that involves people from different countries, and international conventions.

Whether you choose simultaneous or consecutive interpretation, one thing that is common in both is to get reliable, accurate, professional, and fast interpreters.