Three modes of interpreting

The three modes of interpreting are simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting, and sight translation.

Three modes of interpreting.

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Did you know interpreters have 3 different modes?

Each one is used at different points in litigation.

It is important that you understand this, so you know what to expect in a given proceeding as far as the interpreter is concerned.

In a future article, we will be going in-depth into each of these interpretation modes and when each one is used. The purpose of this article is to briefly explain each one:

First of all, all of these modes entail oral translation, i.e. interpreting. These methods are not for written translation.

The three modes of interpreting are simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting, and sight translation.

#1 Simultaneous interpretation

This is when there is a speaker or a group of speakers dialoguing. The speakers do not need to pause to allow the interpreter time to translate, rather, the interpreter will be translating everything that is said simultaneously, with a small lag, to the individual with limited English proficiency (LEP).

#2 Consecutive interpretation

The speaker/s and the interpreter take turns. After the speaker is done, the interpreter will convey what is said in a different language, after which the speaker may continue, or a different speaker may speak. The speaker and the interpreter are never speaking at the same time and phrases are kept short to allow the interpreter to memorize and take notes of what is being said.

#3 Sight translation

This mode is used when a document that is in a source language must be read out loud into a different language (called the target language). Imagine a letter or a phrase from a document that needs to be read to a group of people. The interpreter will read the letter to him/herself and then convey it, out loud, to the audience in the target language.

Three modes of interpreting


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