Interpreting: The Art of Deciphering a Conversation

Interpreting requires a different skill set than translating. Interpreting is an immediate conversion of spoken words into the target language. Translation usually refers to written language, allowing for more time to process the conversion into the target language.

Consecutive Interpreting: Is used for meetings or situations where two parties are trying to converse about a certain subject. One party starts speaking and then stops after a few sentences, letting the interpreter translate and repeat the sentences in the language of the other party. This goes on two ways (the certified interpreter can translate from and into the target language) until the conversation is over.

Simultaneous Interpreting: Is used for conferences and meetings with a large audience. The certified interpreters translate verbally into the target language as the speaker proceeds. There is hardly any delay. The interpreters are in booths and cannot be heard by the conference participants other than through headsets. As the linguist translates, he/she speaks into a system that is broadcasted through the headsets. Two certified interpreters are typically required for this type of assignment.

Court Interpreting: Legal proceedings require knowledge of very specific terminology. Depending on the court and on the target language, interpreters may require a certification as a court interpreter.

For best results, the interpreter should have experience in the field that requires interpreting.

Special Settings

Interpreters are required in a variety of settings besides face-to-face meetings and conferences. Here are a few examples:

Video Remote Interpreting: Considering the growth of video conferencing, video remote interpreting is also taking off. It is cost effective as no traveling time and costs are incurred.

Guide or escort interpreters accompany either local visitors abroad or welcome foreign visitors in their own country to ensure that they can communicate during their stay. These specialists interpret in both formal and informal settings. Frequent travel is common for these linguists.

Phone Calls, Employee Interviews: Interpreters for this type of scenarios are also available.

-Sign language interpreters facilitate communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear. Sign language interpreters must be fluent in English and in American Sign Language (ASL), which combines signing, finger spelling, and specific body language. ASL is a separate language from English and has its own grammar.

Do I need an interpreter who is certified?

To become an interpreter, most states require a certification. To become certified, a written, as well as an oral examination, may be required. There are specific legal and medical interpreter certifications. Requirements vary depending on the state, the organizations involved, and the language.

In most cases, it is best to use a certified interpreter to be on the safe side. If it is hard to find one, or budgets don’t allow for one, keep in mind that some situations may not require a certified linguist.

Please contact Tell with your interpreting needs, we will evaluate them and make a recommendation on how to proceed. Tell can provide a wide array of interpreters as well as equipment if needed.