Modes of Interpreting

The specifics of the Conference Interpreter’s profession are fairly unknown to the public due to its discreet character and so it is only natural for people not to be aware of the different modes of interpreting. In this article we give you a short description of every mode, but ultimately, they all boil down to the two main types – simultaneous (together with the speaker) and consecutive (following the speaker).



Simultaneous Interpreting is done simultaneously with the speech. Therefore you need special technical equipment for the interpreters and the delegates (booths, microphones, headsets). The huge concentration toll, the bigger audience and responsibility make it obligatory for this mode of interpreting to be delivered by a team of interpreters.



This mode of interpreting is suitable for workshops, trainings, negotiations, business meetings, business trips. In this scenario the interpreter sits next to the speaker or has a separate microphone, taking notes of what has been delivered and interpreting chunks of the speech consecutively (after the speaker). The price is for one interpreter or a team, depending on the nature and duration of the event. An important thing to note here is that consecutive prolongs the event significantly, since it takes almost as much as the original delivery (3/4 of the original’s time).



This is a type of simultaneous (without equipment) and it suitable for one listener or a small group of listeners (max 3). In this case the interpreter sits among the listeners and whispers the interpreting, trying not to disturb the other guests.



In this  mode the interpreter assists clients in various situations like shopping, travelling, accommodating foreign guests, visiting tourist sights or industrial facilities, or any other situation which requires a professional linguistic assistance. The price is for one interpreter or a team, depending on the nature and duration of the event.



Interpreting „On Air“ is specific for many reasons. The interpreter must not only face a number of uncertainties related to interviewing a public persona, the ad hoc challenges, the technical requirements, the complicated coordination in a TV studio, but they also need to outperform the high expectations of a numerous and demanding audience.



This mode (interpreting via phone, Skype, video conference) is a type of consecutive, meaning that the interpreter waits for the speaker to finish a few sentences, then interprets. Here it is crucial to provide a high quality sound and for the participants to be mindful of the interpreter, and to speak clearly and in turns.



This is an interpreting service used for different notary deeds involving a person of non-Bulgarian origin. In fact this mode of interpreting involves a very complex skill called – sight interpreting, which means the interpreter is simultaneously reading an unfamiliar text and interpreting, which sometimes can prove even more difficult than simultaneous itself. Such notary or bank visit appointments can have a different duration, but usually not more than an hour. The task of the interpreter is to read out loud (i.e. sight interpret) all documents a client is signing, so that they are provided with maximum transparency.