People often confuse the translator’s and interpreter’s professions. While it is true there are resemblances, especially in terms of the intellectual process involved, there are also just as many differences in how that intellectual process is materialized: a translator produces a written text, whereas an interpreter produces spoken language.
Interpreting is complex. The interpreter must grasp the speaker’s message instantly and convey it accurately. Our interpreters are used to doing so in all types of situations, whether they are called on to accompany a client on-site or to provide simultaneous translation at a conference. We choose our interpreters by their area of expertise, so they correspond completely to the assignment. We collaborate closely with our clients to meet their expectations.
The interpreting profession breaks down into several categories:
- For official visits, informal business encounters
- For courtroom discussion, pleadings
- During political speeches or strategy presentations
- For real-time spoken translation of participant remarks at official bilingual encounters
- Interpreters translate a speech as coherently as possible, after listening attentively and taking a few succinct notes; they then deliver the interpretation in the target language
- Either in full, or in several consecutive sections.
Liaison interpreting :
- For visits of factories, worksites, trade shows...
- For business trips or similar occasions
- In connection with public relations or other promotional events
- To communicate remarks by participants speaking different languages
In opposition to consecutive interpreting, the interpreter takes no notes; here, it becomes a rather spontaneous form of communication, with the interpreter as the link between two parties who don't speak the same language. He needs to be fluent in two languages and of course accurately translate what all are saying.
For meetings, interviews, conferences
Whispering interpretation is appropriate for events where the public and speaker use a same language that is different from the client’s. The speaker and participants therefore exchange normally without pause and the interpreter translates to his client, whispering or saying in a low voice what is being said. In this case, the interpreter must be of the same language as his client in addition to completely fluent in the event language. One major difficulty is the issue of acoustics, inherent to the situation; another is the possible disturbance to others with the low whisperings. From a technical viewpoint, however, this form of interpreting is not significantly complex.
Simultaneous (or conference) interpreting:
For conferences, colloquia, conventions, press conferences, and other similar events.
Modern conference interpreting was developed the Nuremberg Trials (1945-1946), when the interpreters were set up in telephone booths to do their work. Today, interpreters are in special booths equipped with a sound console, microphone and headphones; they must have the same mother tongue as the client, and be completely fluent in the event language. The demands of the work requires two interpreters, who switch off with each other every 20 minutes. Conference interpreting is most appropriate where the public is multilingual.
This is a more advanced and demanding form of interpreting, and technically more complex. From the viewpoint of the participants, it is also the most dynamic and flexible.
Simultaneous interpreting means interpreters have to conduct a certain amount of concentrated preparation beforehand, which is why we always ask our clients for as much information as possible prior to the assignment; certain fields call for more intensive preparation than others, both from a technical as well as linguistic standpoint.