Role of Interpreter

To deliver the message orally, as faithfully as possible, between individuals who do not share a common language.


Face-to-face Interpreting:

This is when the interpreter is physically present in the room. It is usually “bilateral” interpreting, a term used to describe the type of interpreting when the interpreter is working “in both directions” between two languages i.e. both into and from their preferred language (or “mother” tongue). This type of interpreting is often used in situations involving meetings, interviews or visits. It may be either consecutive or simultaneous in mode, or involve a mixture of the two.

Consecutive Interpretation

This is one of the two main modes of interpreting. The interpreter will listen to a speaker’s utterance (source language), and then produce the interpreted version (target language) when the speaker pauses. The interpretation may follow after only a few seconds of source material (the equivalent of a sentence, for example) or after 10 minutes or more (a whole or a significant portion of a speech). An interpreter will often rely on ‘note taking” to ensure that their interpreted version is a faithful and accurate version of the original.

Simultaneous Interpretation

The interpretation is delivered nearly instantaneously after the original message. This form of interpreting is usually done in a booth using electronic equipment and may be whispered.

Whispered Simultaneous Interpretation

Occurs when one or a small number of people speak one language, which is not the language the group is using. An interpreter will whisper the message for the benefit of this person or small group.

Sight Translation

Conversion from written material in one language to a spoken version in another language also occurs when an instant oral version is required of a written text. Although in style this resembles interpreting, it is usually described as ‘sight translation” or “on-sight translation”.

Verbatim Translation

This is sometimes also referred to as word-for-word or and or Interpreting literal translation/interpreting, and linguists will usually understand this to mean the production of a close, faithful and accurate version of the original in the target language.

Telephone Interpreting

Interpreting over the phone during a conference call. All parties are not in the same location. This could occur if the interpreter and service provider are in the same room and the client is in another location or the service provider and client are in the same location and the interpreter is providing interpretation in a different location.
• Telephone sessions:
• Interpreter off site.
• Interpreter & client off site

Relay Interpreting

Style of interpreting which takes place when it is not possible to locate a single interpreter with competence in the language combination, the two languages between which interpreting is required. For example! it might be impossible to locate an interpreter with the ability to work between Romanian and French. Interpreters, however, might be found to work with the following language pairs: Romanian/ English and French/English.

Video-conferencing Interpreting

This means that a videophone or video-conferencing system is used to provide both audio and video access to an interpreter.

Telephone Message Relay

Relaying a message over the phone in a language different from the language the message was given in. For example, the interpreter may be asked to phone a welfare recipient at home to pass on a message from the service provider.