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 run time.
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, your meeting can proceed 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 chuchotage or whisper-concurrent interpreting. This is a type of simultaneous interpreting in which the interpreter relay sentences to individuals 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.
Translate Important Handouts
Once you’ve booked your meeting space and decided where your interpreters will be positioned, you’re next consideration should be any relevant documents or handouts. If you’re planning on using printed handouts as a reference for attendees or have a slideshow prepared with key statistics, you have these documents translated in advance. This will help keep your meeting on time as it alleviates the need for an interpreter to preform on-site translations.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that interpreting and translating are two different skill sets and assuming that your interpreter will be able to translate documents quickly and without prior notice could result in miscommunications.
Consider Alternative Forms of Interpreting
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.
However, if time is of the essence, 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.
Get Professional Help
When planning a meeting that will require interpreters, there’s a lot to plan for — and if it’s your first time you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed. Give yourself some peace of mind and work with a professional language service company like Accredited Language.
We can help you decide on the right type of interpreting for you meeting and also provide advice on placement of interpreters and (if you opt for simultaneous interpreting) equipment. We also have simultaneous interpreting equipment available to rent and can provide any translation or transcription services you require.
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Contact us today and we’ll be happy to assist — after all, it’s what we’re here for.