The Quick Guide to Interpreting

Types and Areas of Interpreting

Professional interpreters are in high demand in many different fields. There are three 3 main types and 7 areas of interpreting: from individual client interpreting to large group interpreting.


Three Types of Interpreting:


  1. Simultaneous Interpreting:

Simultaneous InterpretingThis type of interpreting is the most complex as the interpreter must be speaking at the same time as the client. This requires a general knowledge of the topic being spoken about and a high level of focus.





  1. Consecutive Interpreting:

Consecutive InterpretingThis is the most common form of interpreting. Unlike simultaneous interpreting, information is relayed after the client is done speaking. The interpreter will take notes about what is being said so as not to miss anything.





  1. Whispered Interpreting:

Whispered InterpretingVery similar to consecutive; however, the interpreter sits near listeners and relay information in the target language quietly and directly to them.






Areas of Interpreting:


  • 1. Conference Interpreting:

Conference InterpretingLarge events require interpreters to cater to attendees of various nationalities. Information will be relayed to the large number of listeners via headsets.






  • 2. Guide Interpreting:

Guide InterpretingThese interpreters accompany clients traveling, providing constant interpretation. Assignments could include guiding members of foreign government on a political trip, or a foreign businessman on an international venture.






  • 3. Medical Interpreting:

Medical interpreters accompany clients to appointments, and aid communication between staff and patients.  Interpreters must have knowledge of medical terminology, be sensitive to patient information, and follow interpreter ethics.





  • 4. Legal Interpreting:

Legal or court interpreters work at Legal Interpretinghearings, arraignments, trials etc. They must have an understanding of legal terminology and courtroom procedure, adhere to client confidentially and follow interpreter ethics.






  • 5. Community Interpreting:

Community InterpretingInterpreting that creates a bridge between members of a local community. These interpreters work for organizations like law enforcement, municipal agencies, and schools.






  • 6. Business Interpreting:

Business InterpretingThis type of interpreting is done in business settings (ex. negotiation for international business deals). Interpreters must have knowledge of the business they are working for, and an awareness of local tactics and conduct in meetings and business deals that vary globally.





  • 7. Telephonic Interpreting:

Telephonic InterpretingSimply interpreting via the telephone. It is faster and more convenient than on-site interpreting.







Interested in becoming a professional interpreter?

Check out our training programs and be on your way to a career as a professional interpreter:

Medical Interpreter Certificate Training,

Legal Interpreter Certificate Training,

Business & Community Interpreter Certificate Training.

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