Major Types of Interpreting

Interpreting (or interpretation) refers to
the translation of oral conversations, conference talks, and speeches.

Choose the type of interpreting most fitting for your event:

  • Simultaneous interpreting
  • Consecutive interpreting
  • Chuchotage (whispered interpreting)
  • Liaison interpreting
  • Remote interpreting

Want to learn more about what each type of interpreting entails?
Find a brief overview below.

SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETING (also known as “simultaneous translation”)

What is this?
When I’m on a simultaneous interpreting assignment, I work from a soundproof booth and reformulate your speech or discussion in real time, with only a few seconds’ lag, while your audience members listen to the interpretation via headphones.

When is simultaneous interpreting typically used?
Simultaneous interpreting is the preferred choice for conferences, seminars, workshops, and training courses, as real-time interpretation does not require interruptions of your speech or extra time.

Any important features I should know about?
Simultaneous interpreting entails significant cognitive effort for the interpreter. To ensure top-quality output throughout your event, there will always be two interpreters in the booth, working in turns of around 20 minutes each.
This mode of interpreting also requires specific equipment (a soundproof booth and interpreter’s console, microphones, transmitters and receivers, headphones, etc., to be rented separately) and the support of a specialised technician to ensure smooth operation of the equipment throughout your event.


What is this?
In consecutive interpreting, speakers deliver their talks in approximately three-minute blocks, during which I take notes. At the end of each block, I relay what has been said in your audience’s language, using my notes to make sure the reformulation includes all the details.

When is consecutive interpreting typically used?
Consecutive interpretation is most suitable when you need interpretation into only one language. It’s the perfect choice for short speeches and presentations or for a limited number of talks.

Any important features I should know about?
Unlike simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting does not require specific technical equipment. This saves on event planning costs but requires more time, as talks and presentations are reformulated after the speaker has delivered them.

CHUCHOTAGE (or whispered interpreting)

What is this?
Chuchotage allows for real-time interpretation, but in this case, I sit next to the participants that need me and whisper the interpretation into their ears.

When is whispered interpreting typically used?
Chuchotage comes in handy when your event location does not support the installation of a soundproof booth and only a few participants (typically one or two) require language support.

Any important features I should know about?
As whispered interpreting is in fact a form of simultaneous interpreting, it requires the presence of two interpreters to ensure top-quality output throughout the event.

In chuchotage, interpreters whisper very softly to avoid causing the speaker to lose their focus and flow. This is why chuchotage is only used when a small number of participants require it. Also, working outside of a soundproof booth makes it harder for interpreters to carry out their task, so it’s important to avoid overlapping conversations and limit background noise as much as possible.

LIAISON INTERPRETING (or B2B interpreting)

What is this?
In this form of interpreting, I reformulate your speech sentence by sentence.

When is liaison interpretation typically used?
Liaison interpreting is the perfect choice for B2B meetings, client visits to your headquarters or production plants, and trade fairs. But it’s also key to tearing down the language barrier during doctor’s appointments and medical examinations.

Any important features I should know about?
To prevent the interpretation from disrupting the flow and natural dynamism of the conversation, each participant talks in rounds of about two minutes. As with consecutive interpreting, this means you need to plan more time for your meeting or event.

REMOTE INTERPRETING (or distance interpreting)

What is this?
Remote interpreting means that I’m at your side via phone or videoconference software.

When is remote interpretation typically used?
Distance interpretation can be used for videoconferences, online business meetings, webinars, and other online events — and in various scenarios where the on-site presence of an interpreter is not possible.

Any important features I should know about?
Remote interpreting can be used to provide both simultaneous and consecutive interpretation (depending on the type and setting of your event).

If you’re new to distance interpreting, I can advise you on the most suitable technology. As a rule of thumb, both speakers and interpreters need a stable Ethernet-based internet connection with a speed of 5–10 Mbps (depending on the chosen platform).

Also, please note that remote simultaneous interpreting still requires the presence of two interpreters to ensure top-quality output throughout your event.

Are you looking for an Italian interpreter
for your online or offline event?

Contact me for a free quote or more information.

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