business meeting where consecutive interpreting is being applied
By: Alison On: August 18, 2016 In: Conferences, Interpreting Comments: 0

Consecutive interpreting is often necessary in meetings where people who speak different languages are going to be present.

If consecutive interpreting is a part of your next meeting, it’s important to take certain factors into account in order to help the meeting run smoothly with minimal interruption.

Book Extra Time for Interpreting

An essential fact to keep in mind when scheduling meetings with consecutive interpreting is that extra time will be needed.

Consecutive interpreting is structured so that after a speaker says a sentence or two, he or she pauses while the interpreter relays the message into another language to those individuals who require interpreting. If you’re using consecutive interpreting, you should take this extra time into account when scheduling conference rooms and estimating meeting length: it will at least double the meeting’s length.

In addition, speakers should be reminded of the need for pauses to allow for interpreting so that no important information is lost. By including appropriate extra time for consecutive interpreting, the meeting can proceed smoothly without time pressure.

Make Space for Your Interpreters

If you’re planning an important business meeting, of course you’ll take into account the number of people present and make sure that there is space for all attendees in the meeting room. Additionally, it’s essential to make space for your interpreters — who won’t do much good if they can’t fit into the room!

Positioning of interpreters is also a key consideration. If only one or two people in the meeting will require interpreting, it may be best to simply position an interpreter behind these individuals for what’s known as whisper-concurrent interpreting. This is a type of simultaneous interpreting in which the interpreter will relay sentences to the individuals requiring interpreting by whispering to them, making for minimal disruption.

Alternately, if a large portion of the audience requires interpreting, it may be preferable to position the interpreter at the front of the room, by the speaker, where he or she can clearly address the room as a whole.

Which Type of Interpreting Is Right for Your Meeting?

When planning a meeting that will require interpreters, professional consecutive interpreting is an effective and cost-efficient way to keep a meeting proceeding smoothly without leaving any audience members lost. Skilled consecutive interpreting by professional linguists allows meetings to proceed efficiently and helps keep all attendees up to speed.

If time is of the essence, however, simultaneous interpreting may be a better option. Since simultaneous interpreting does not require presenters to pause for interpretation, it allows for more time to be allotted to presentations and speeches. The trade-off comes in the time needed to set up conference equipment for simultaneous interpreting, so that everyone who requires interpreting services can hear it.

Of course, no two meetings are the same, and it can sometimes be tricky to tell which style of interpreting is better for you. If you need a little help determining whether you need simultaneous or consecutive interpreting, just give us a call at 1-800-322-0284 and we’ll be happy to help you out — after all, it’s what we’re here for.

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