Interpreting Definitions: A Short List

Interpreting definitions in the language translation business can be confusing.  Here's a quick guide to help sort things out and to help you understand the terminology used in the business.

interpreting terms

4 Key Interpreting Terms

Do various interpreting definitions have you confused?  Here are a few guidelines about interpreting definitions to keep you on track:

Interpreting – The conversion of the spoken word from one language to another.

Consecutive Interpreting – The conversion of the spoken word from one language to another by an interpreter as the speaker pauses for the interpretation.  Consecutive interpreting is used when interpreting for individuals or small groups.

Conference Interpreting – The conversion of the spoken word from one language to one or many other languages while the speaker is speaking.

Simultaneous Interpreting – The conversion of the spoken word from one language to another while the speaker is speaking.  This is a skilled profession where the speaker does not pause for the interpreter.  Due to the extreme pressure on simultaneous interpreters, performance standards usually include 2 interpreters per language.

Interpreting definitions vary slightly depending on the word used in conjunction with interpreting, so it's best to know the difference.  Be informed so a language translation & interpreting company can serve you better.

Categories: Spoken Communications

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