Consecutive interpreting

With consecutive interpreting, the interpreter takes notes while the speaker is talking. Once the speaker has finished, the interpreter then interprets the speech into the required language. For this type of interpreting, the speech or section thereof should be no longer than 15 minutes.

Other than a notepad, a pen and, if necessary, a microphone, no technical equipment is required for consecutive interpreting. The number of interpreters required depends on the level of difficulty, the duration and the number of languages needed. Often, however, only one interpreter is required. The interpreter stands next to the speaker or sits at the conference table. It is vital that the interpreter is positioned in such a way as to enable them to clearly hear and see the speaker.

This type of interpreting is particularly well suited to toasts, welcome speeches, receptions, celebratory occasions, lectures, bilateral negotiations, etc. The fact that the interpretation follows the original speech means that the amount of time taken is far greater than with simultaneous interpreting and the dynamic of the speech is often lost. If two languages are being used, then the amount of time planned for the speeches should be doubled. Consecutive interpreting is suitable for a maximum of three languages.