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Consecutive interpreting

Interprétation consécutive

The most demanding type of interpreting for conference interpreters

People often confuse consecutive interpreting and liaison interpreting due to the fact that no equipment is needed and interpreters interpret after the speakers have spoken.

In consecutive interpreting, interpreters take notes while speakers deliver their messages. Interpreters then provide a translation every 10-15 minutes once an idea has been fully developed.

They are required to take on the role of speaker to deliver the message. This does not involve translating sentence by sentence or reading a pre-existing translation.

Consecutive interpreting is a highly demanding exercise unlike liaison interpreting, which is more immediate and informal, requires less accuracy and has more scope for interpreters to interact with participants as they are able to clarify ideas and explain concepts.

Consecutive interpreters are required to:

  • Take notes
  • Understand and memorise up to 15 minutes of speech
  • Boast sound knowledge of the subject in question
  • Reproduce the speech with flair to get the audience’s attention
  • Interpret in front of an audience, leaving no room for errors

Consecutive interpreting is a highly demanding exercise and can only be carried out by the most accomplished of interpreters.
Consecutive interpreting is used for heads of state and short strategic speeches as it makes the duration of the speaker’s speech a lot longer and, consequently, can result in the audience’s attention being lost.

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