Posted by: sbilingual | June 12, 2012


Consecutive interpreting, simultaneous interpreting and sight translation … what’s the difference? And which is right for your situation?

Consecutive interpreting.

This is more of a start and stop interpreting technique. For instance, you, as the client, would speak a brief portion then let the interpreter translate what was said. This process just keeps repeating itself.

  • This method is typically used when interpreting by telephone, for meetings and in court.
  • Consecutive interpreting can take twice the time due to stopping & starting the conversation. You’ll want to factor this into both your budget and your schedule.

Simultaneous interpreting.

With this method, interpreters and other speakers are basically talking at the same time, with the interpreter lagging behind by a half word.

  • You’ll typically find interpreters located away from the session noise or in a sound-proof booth. Portable microphones, headphones and pocket-sized receivers may be used.
  • Works well for larger groups, such as conferences, conventions and tours.
  • Depending on the length of your session, you may want to schedule two interpreters who can take turns translating.

Sight translation.

Interpreters are asked to read some type of written document out loud to an audience that is written in another language.

  • Typically this is used in meetings, court hearings, and in hospitals or other care facilities.

When might interpreters be needed?

  • When you have visitors from facilities or locations outside the U.S.
  • In hospitals and other care facilities ensuring patients clearly understand treatment plans.
  • In the judicial system, again, ensuring that those who speak a limited amount of (or even no) English are represented fairly in court.
  • At conferences and events, especially since many are now more global in nature
  • For internal training at U.S.-based or foreign-based locations.
  • Meetings with attorneys, CPAs or other professional-based providers.

To find out how Bilingual Resources Group can support your interpretation, translation and bilingual staffing needs, please call 504-253-0364 or visit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: