Globalization has resulted in world becoming an active marketplace for all sorts of transactions with language playing a key role.  The use of translation and interpretation services has significantly increased to ensure that organizations are able to communicate to their audience or target market in their respective languages.

With this in perspective, the use of interpretation services has increased. Interpretation is a process of explaining the meaning from one language to another. The end goal is to use one language as a source and interpret the meaning of any particular sentence into the target language.

There are mainly two types of commonly used interpretation services namely consecutive and simultaneous interpretation with significant differences between them.

Consecutive interpretation services require use of one interpreter who interprets speech after the original speaker has paused or finished speaking. Consecutive interpretation is mainly used for small set ups such as board meetings, interviews, legal proceedings, depositions etc. The goal of consecutive interpretation is to convey the message of the speaker to the audience in a best way possible however it is essential for the speaker to pause from time to time in order for the interpreter to interpret for the audience.

On the other hand, simultaneous interpretation requires no pause from the speaker and the interpreters are required to interpret from source language to the target language in real time. Simultaneous Interpretation can be an exhausting task for any interpreter and in order to ensure seamless flow of interpretation, this type of interpretation requires two interpreters working in a pair. Interpreters in simultaneous interpretation are based in a sound proof booth in order to deliver smooth output for the listeners. It’s up to the agency to organize and manage the schedule of simultaneous interpretation along with the equipment.

Use of  simultaneous and consecutive interpretation in medical settings

With growing use of interpretation services around the world, one industry that heavily relies on interpretation services is the medical and pharmaceutical industry. It is without a doubt that medical or healthcare professionals and patients may be native speakers of different languages and would require an interpreter to convey the message to one another in a most accurate manner. Consecutive interpretation may be a good idea for medical settings mainly because it allows listeners to listen effectively due to its small set up. For instance, a doctor trying to diagnose an illness would rely heavily on consecutive interpretation in order to collect the right information from the patient.

Simultaneous interpretation services are commonly used for large medical events such as congresses, seminars, conferences and global training sessions. With thousands of attendees attending these events from all over the world and utilizing some equipments for this type of interpretation , the use of simultaneous interpretation becomes increasing essential to ensure that the medical professionals are able to fully grasp the given message. The use of simultaneous interpretation within the medical set up will always be crucial as it will continuously help medical and healthcare professionals improve their skills and deliver the right level of medical assistance to those in need.

Use of consecutive and simultaneous interpretation with legal industry

The use of interpretation services within the legal industry is crucial. Without accurate information, evidence required on a case can’t be collected. Any misunderstanding can result in wrong information being gather resulting in crisis for a legal entity. The use of consecutive interpretation relies heavily during deposition where evidence is being gathered for a respective case. With proper use of consecutive interpretation, law firms are able to gather evidence without any misunderstanding due to language barriers. Also, during court proceedings, judge and any other officials related to the judicial system rely on interpreters to interpret in the best of their ability. There can be serious consequences of not having a professional interpretation service in place. Some of them include the following:

  1. Waste of public funds
  2. Misuse of court time
  3. Inaccurate statement being rendered on a case resulting in mistrial
  4. Potentially prosecuting the innocent party and failing to prosecute the guilty party

Challenges associated with interpretation services

Interpretation services are primarily used to capture and convey a message in a most accurate manner. Any organization that is outsourcing interpretation services has one common goal which is to ensure that their audience receive the correct message in their respective languages. Providing interpretation services can be challenging and interpreters often face a number of hurdles while rendering their services.

  1. Noisy surroundings: Interpreters providing consecutive or simultaneous interpretation have to be laser focused to listen to the speaker in order to interpret correctly. If a room or the venue is noisy, it becomes excessively difficult for the interpreter to capture what is being said by the speaker. This can result in an interpreter not being able to interpret the exact message to the audience.
  2. Lack of preparation: Like any other profession, interpreters require reference material to prepare for any given assignment. Lack of preparation may result in interpreters not being able to use the correct terminologies while interpreting for the audience. Experienced interpreters normally allocate 2 – 3 days going over any reference material that is available to ensure that they are fully prepared.
  3. Technical issues: While consecutive interpretation doesn’t require any technical element being involved, simultaneous interpretation on the other hand requires sound proof booth, AV system and other technicalities to ensure seamless flow of interpretation. Any technical glitch may result in the interpretation flow being disrupted. This poses a big challenge for interpreters providing simultaneous interpretation services.

Whether it’s consecutive or simultaneous, interpretation is a difficult task which requires practice and hard work. If you are ever in need of interpretation services, please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to assist.