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 Definition of Terms

  • Interpreting

Interpreting includes any service whereby the source text delivered orally or provided in a written form is transposed into the target language orally.

  • Liaison Interpreting

Interpreting ad hoc, more informal communication. Typical cases:                                             visits,

demonstrations, on-the-job training, etc.

  • Consecutive Interpreting

An interpreting assignment is consecutive if a segment of the target language text (which is usually one sentence or a shorter unit of thought) is delivered after the source language text has been spoken and there is direct contact between the presenter of the source language text, the audience and the person performing the interpreting.

Consecutive interpreting is typically used for negotiations, business meetings, presentations and training. Depending on the interpreting assignment, the consecutive interpreter may take notes. Where appropriate, the interpreter stands next to the speaker(s) and interprets into a microphone.

In certain cases written texts also need to be translated orally, for which the interpreter applies the so-called sight interpreting technique (e.g. 1.101.10).

  • On-Stage Interpreting

A type of consecutive interpreting. The interpreter stands next to the speaker, usually on stage, interpreting into a microphone in short segments. Due to the nature of such assignments, generally, there is no possibility of note-taking. The circumstances of this work and the expectations towards the interpreter make on-stage interpreting similarly demanding to simultaneous interpreting.

  • Conference Interpreting

Conference interpreting involves consecutive interpreting in large segments and simultaneous interpreting.

  • Long Consecutive Interpreting

This type of interpreting is identical to the technique described in the section on “consecutive interpreting”, however there is a significant difference in that the interpreter uses a special note-taking technique to take down the speech or lecture, which can be as long as 4-5 minutes, and then uses the notes to render the speech into the target language. This technique requires a high level of expertise and professional experience. It is recommended that interpreters with qualifications in long consecutive interpreting are used for such assignments. Typical cases: diplomatic engagements and political events, welcome speeches etc.

  • Simultaneous Interpreting

An interpreting assignment is simultaneous, if the target language text is effectively delivered at the same time as the source language text is spoken and the simultaneous interpreter renders the average pace text (120-150 words/minute) in the target language orally, in a clearly articulated fashion, by accurately conveying the information and following the diction of the original.

Simultaneous interpretation is usually provided by two interpreters who sit in a booth and take over from each other every 20-30 minutes (booth interpretation). Interpreters sit in the booth or work by using portable interpreting devices. The audience listens to the interpreters through headphones. For additional resources and the technical background see Technical Background and Resources.

Typical cases: conferences, large professional events, forums, etc.

  • Chuchotage or Whispered Interpreting

Whispered simultaneous interpreting. The interpreter sits or stands among the participants and whispers into the ears of the participants what is being said simultaneously to the speakers’ words. Chuchotage is only possible with a small number of participants (max. 4 persons) sitting or standing close together. Chuchotage interpreting is just as demanding as simultaneous interpreting, therefore it is advised to have a colleague take over if the interpreting is expected to last for a longer time.

  • Sign Interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting performed into sign language. Sign language interpreters perform interpreting for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. They interpret what is being said into sign language and interpret sign language content back to the spoken language.

  • Sight Interpreting

The interpreter reads the source language text provided in a written form, then immediately translates it orally into the target language. Similarly to simultaneous interpreting, sight interpreting also requires a high level of competence and professional expertise.

  • Source Language

The language of the text or speech serving as the basis of interpreting.

  • Target Language

The language into which the orally delivered source language text is interpreted.

  • Active ( „A”) Language

The Interpreter’s mother tongue (or another language with a proficiency level close to that of the mother tongue), which may be the interpreter’s target language or source language for the types of interpreting described in sections!. 1-1.10.

  • Active ( „B”) Language

A second/other active working language other than the Interpreter’s “A” language, from which (target language) and into which (source language) the interpreter provides the types of interpreting described in sections1.1-1.10.

  • Passive („C”) Language

A passive, learnt working language, from which the interpreter provides the types of interpreting described in sections1.1-1.10 into the interpreter’s “A” or any “B” language. It cannot be used as the target language during interpreting.