Types of interpreting
Simultaneous interpreting is probably the most well-known type of interpreting. A speaker delivers a speech, the interpreter translates
simultaneously into a microphone. Persons who need translation simply tune into the right channel using their headset. On multilingual
conferences, people will choose the channel offering the language they need.
In a simultaneous interpreting context, you will not only need interpreters but also the right equipment (booth, headsets, sound technician). The advantages of simultaneous interpreting are however numerous. The speaker can deliver his speech without being interrupted, the interpreters translate in the background without disturbing anyone, people listen to the interpreter's translation through headsets. In other words, simultaneous interpreting is a highly efficient way of providing people with translation.
Consecutive interpreting means that a speaker delivers a speech (or part of it) while the interpreter takes notes and delivers the
This method comes in handy when speeches are short (or can be split up into short parts) and when there is enough time for the interpreter to provide his translation. The drawback of the consecutive method, however, is that you will need almost double as much time for your meeting. In other words, simultaneous interpreting is much more efficient than consecutive interpreting. An example of a setting where consecutive interpreting might be preferred, are press conferences.
Interpreters will usually resort to consecutive interpreting when the meeting and the speeches are short and/or when hiring interpreting equipment (booth, headsets, sound technician) cannot be justified financially.
Liaison interpreting is a third type of interpreting. The interpreter basically translates back and forth between two languages, for two persons or two groups each speaking a different language. For some reason, this type of interpreting is rather rare.