What is interpreting?

Interpreting is the process of translating orally from a source into a target language. It requires a great deal of professionalism and perfect command of the two languages involved. Speed, accuracy and superior concentration are required in order to succeed.There are two main types of interpretation: simultaneous interpreting and consecutive interpreting.

Simultaneous Interpreting Services

Simultaneous Interpreting is where the interpreter verbally translates simultaneously, whilst the speaker is talking. This means that they need to be able to talk whilst also listening to the next sentence, which requires a very specific skill set. Due to the complexities of this, on occasion interpreters work in pairs. Simultaneous Interpreting is often used during conferences and large scale events. The interpreter would generally be located in a sound-proof booths wearing headphones through which they can listen carefully to what the speaker is saying. Clearly it’s vital to be able to instantly convey the message of the speaker with a high level of accuracy.

Consecutive Interpreting Services

Consecutive Interpreting involves the interpreter translating when the speaker pauses talking after the end of a statement or paragraph. It requires high level memory skills to recall and mentally process what has been previously said and then recall it in the target language. This is a slower process then Simultaneous translation but no special equipment is required and therefore this method can be more flexible. Sometimes it can even require one to take notes when the speech is too wide. There is no need for special equipment here.

Other forms of interpreting are:

  • Whispering or Chuchotage – The translator sits next to and whispers into the ear of the client requiring the interpreting service. This is similar to Simultaneous Interpreting although one to one.
  • Ad hoc or Liaison¬†interpretation – Similar to consecutive interpretation, but the interpreter translates in and out of the target language. It is typical during informal meetings.
  • Telephone Interpreting – This is a service which will use one of the methods above but remotely via the telephone. This is a service often provided to organisations such as the Police or the NHS on demand.


TranslationsInLondon are able to offer all Interpreting services mentioned above. We have a global network of interpreters with specialisms covering a wide range of industries so are able to provide the right translator for the task in many locations globally.

If it’s pre-recorded audio you are looking to translate please take a look at our Transcription Translation Services.

Please get in touch via the form below, Skype or give us a call to discuss how our interpreting services can align with your current or future needs.


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