Consecutive interpreting: method description, structure and features

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Consecutive interpreting: method description, structure and features
Consecutive interpreting: method description, structure and features

At various events in which foreign colleagues participate, one can notice a very important figure - a translator. At such meetings, a specialist usually provides interpretation. From this article, you can learn about consecutive interpreting in English.

General information

Interpretation is considered to be the most difficult aspect of translation work. The main difficulties are that:

  • Speech is not fixed, which means that information must be processed at high speed, and in the case of simultaneous translation - instantly.
  • No time to finalize translation details.
  • There is no way to return to the previous phrase.
  • Interpreting excludes the use of reference books.

Interpreting has two varieties - consecutive and simultaneous.

In simultaneous translation, the specialist performs translation in parallel with the speaker's speech. This type of translation is most often used at events where there is a largenumber of foreign audience members. The interpreter is in a separate room and perceives speech through headphones, and plays back through a special microphone.

types of consecutive interpretation

The peculiarity of translation is that the specialist simultaneously listens to the speaker's speech and immediately translates it. So the speaker's speech is translated to the audience with a delay of several seconds.

This is where the striking differences between consecutive and simultaneous interpreting end.


In consecutive interpreting, a specialist translates several sentences or a small fragment of text into the required language immediately after the speaker falls silent. Another name for this translation is paragraph-phrase.

work as a translator

How the translation works

Most of the time, you can watch consecutive interpreting. It is used at official events, business meetings, in courts and so on. The main thing is to have a small number of participants, where everyone speaks one of two languages ​​(language of translation or language of the original)

oral consecutive translation in English

The person speaking the original language pauses in their speech. During these pauses, the translator translates the spoken text. At the same time, the volume of the statement can be from 2 sentences to a fairly large fragment of text.

Types of consecutive interpretation

Consecutive interpreting is divided into two types:

  1. One-way transfer. This type of translation means that the specialist is involved only in the translation into their native language. And if it is necessary to translate into a foreign language, a second translator is involved.
  2. Two-way transfer. In the case of this use of this type of translation, the specialist performs oral consecutive translation of English or another foreign language into the native language and vice versa.

Two-way transfer is the most demanded on the Russian market.

What is the difference between a conference interpreter and a simple interpreter

Recently, consecutive interpretation of large volumes of information, the duration of which is at least 10 - 15 minutes, or a whole report, which can last up to forty minutes, has become the most demanded. This is what conference interpreters do. If the translator is faced with this particular task, then he is allowed to make notes in a notebook. In this case, the specialist uses a special translation shorthand.

oral consecutive translation of English

Translating large volumes of texts has several advantages:

  1. Gives you the opportunity to make the translation more concise, since the translator knows the context. Therefore, the translation of each individual phrase is based on the text as a whole, while in consecutive interpretation of individual sentences, the translator is not familiar with the whole text, so some phrases may not be transmitted accurately.
  2. The conference interpreter does not interrupt the speaker. Thus, the speaker can fullyto convey the entire emotional background of the report to the audience.

The only downside of consecutive interpreting large amounts of information is that an audience that does not speak the original language will get bored while the speaker is speaking in the original language.

Translator's task

types of translation

There are several tasks that a specialist must perform in consecutive interpreting:

  • Memorize the spoken fragment of speech down to the smallest detail.
  • Accurately translate into the desired language.
  • At the same time, not only cognitive information should be preserved, but also the emotional coloring of speech.
  • Translation must be done as fast as possible. That is, this speed should approximately equal the maximum speed of perception of oral speech.
  • Psychological readiness for an unexpected turn of events, as the speaker can change the text of the report or its topic, avoid it. The most difficult are the discussions, since the interpreter knows neither the topic nor the possible outcome of events.
  • Knowledge of the literary norms of both the target language and the original language. The texts of the speakers, as a rule, are not in the strict framework of the oral literary language. Therefore, it may contain an admixture of colloquial speech. The two most striking cases of colloquial speech in the report are the emotional coloring of words and the use of phraseological units.
  • Be able to prevent conflict situations. The translator must be familiar with the rules of ethics and be aware of how to behave in order to prevent possibleconflict.

Translator errors

oral consecutive and simultaneous translation

There are three typical mistakes of a novice translator that worsen his work:

  1. Using parasitic words. "Obviously", "let's say", "you can say so" and similar phrases should not be present in the lexicon of a professional translator. Usually they are used to buy some time for choosing the right word when translating.
  2. Abuse of introductory phrases. For example, "consider the following equally important issues", "we must not forget that" and so on. Usually these phrases are inserted immediately after the speaker stops. An inexperienced translator is afraid of this silence of a few seconds, which is necessary in order to collect his thoughts. Such expressions make sentences difficult to understand.
  3. The interpreter adds his comments about the speaker's speech. The specialist refers to the speaker in the third person. For example, "according to the speaker", "the speaker said that" and the like. Such constructions do not meet the requirements of consecutive interpretation. They pile up sentences, negatively impacting audience perception.

Consecutive interpreting is the most common type of interpreting, which will not lose its relevance in the near future. Performing a high-quality translation requires highly trained specialist and extensive experience in the field of translation. Onlythanks to this, the audience will be able to hear a competent and concise text of the translation, and not a poorly connected "gag".

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