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Consecutive and Simultaneous Interpretation - The Difference

Ok, so you’ve beefed up on the difference between interpretation and translation

You also know that interpretation comes in two flavours:

  • Consecutive interpretation
  • Simultaneous interpretation

Now you want to know the difference between the two, right?

Consecutive Interpretation
Consecutive interpretation (CI) is where the interpreter interprets the message for the audience of one language, only when the speaker of another language is finished speaking.

Simultaneous Interpretation
You are probably already familiar with simultaneous interpretation (SI) if you have ever watch news clips from the United Nations.

Simultaneous interpretation is where the interpreter interprets the message as fast as possible for the audience of one language, as the speaker of another language is continuously speaking. Simultaneous interpretation is mentally a very demanding task, so interpreters work in groups each interpreting for about 5-10 minutes before the next interpreter takes over.

In addition to the need for multiple interpreters, the need for (renting) specialized equipment makes simultaneous interpretation quite expensive.

Consecutive or Simultaneous -- What do I need?
Consecutive interpretation is general used for business meetings and negotiations, and other settings where the interpreting does not need to be near instantaneous.

Given the very high cost of the need for multiple interpreters and specialized equipment, such as interpreter booths, simultaneous interpretation is general used for large conferences.

About the Author
Ivan Vandermerwe is the CEO of SAECULII YK (Tokyo Japan), the owner of SAECULII Interpretation Services, Japan (Tokyo). Visit SAECULII for the latest professional articles and news on English Japanese interpretation services

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Tags: Interpret · Interpretation · Interpreters · Interpreting · Japan, Tokyo · Japanese Interpretation Services

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