It’s a fact that interpreters have one of the most stressful and demanding jobs in the world. But it’s a rewarding one, too. Sometimes I accompany a filmmaker to an international film festival, or translate a works council meeting or a staff seminar on workflow inside a production facility, or I lend my voice to a musician during a live radio interview.

Simultaneous interpreting

With simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter is set up in a soundproof booth and translates the original speech via headphones with only a few seconds delay, i. e. simultaneously. As this solution demands a high degree of concentration, two interpreters usually share a booth and take turns. Simultaneous interpreting is used principally for radio and TV interviews or for full-day conferences, when several target languages come into play.

Consecutive interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is based on the art of note-taking especially created for interpreters. Here, the original speech is broken down into sections and the translation is given immediately after the speaker has delivered each part, i.e. consecutively. This solution is appropriate for smaller events such as after-dinner speeches, banquets or opening addresses, when only one target language comes into play. Liaison interpreting is a form of consecutive interpreting where the interpreter translates what is said sentence by sentence. It is used for bilateral negotiations and one-on-one interviews, for instance.

Whispered interpreting

When there are no capacities for technical equipment (such as an interpreting booth) during excursions or factory tours, an option is whispered interpreting. As this interpreting technique is extremely tiring for both the interpreter and the listener, it is only appropriate on rare occasions and only for two listeners at most. With this solution, the interpreter literally whispers the translation into his or her listener's ear without any technical support. In some cases it may be advisable to use a wireless whisper set.