In simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter renders the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks. The interpreter is sitting in a sound-proof booth and speaks into a microphone, while clearly seeing and hearing the source-language speaker via earphones. The simultaneous interpretation is rendered to the target-language listeners via their earphones. This type of interpreting is suitable for any type of events.
In consecutive interpreting, the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has finished speaking. The speech is divided into segments, and the interpreter sits or stands beside the source-language speaker, listening and taking notes as the speaker progresses through the message. When the speaker pauses or finishes speaking, the interpreter then renders a portion of the message or the entire message in the target language. Usually an interpreter can render speeches of 5 to 6 minutes.
Liaison interpreting involves relaying what is spoken to one, between two, or among many people. This can be done after a short speech, or consecutively, sentence-by-sentence, or as chuchotage (whispering). Aside from notes taken at the time, no equipment is used. This type of interpreting is suitable for business meetings, fairs, company visits.
Chuchotage or whispered interpreting
In whispered interpreting (chuchotage, in French), the interpreter sits or stands next to the small target-language audience whilst whispering a simultaneous interpretation of the matter to hand. This method requires no equipment, but may be done via a microphone and headphones if the participants prefer. Chuchotage is used in circumstances where the majority of a group speaks the source language, and a minority (ideally no more than three people) do not speak it.