Choosing an interpreter isn’t necessarily a simple task – you want to be sure that the interpreting agency and their interpreters are trained, and up to the standards you need for your project. But how do you do that if you aren’t that familiar with interpreting services? Before beginning any interpreting project, it’s best to know what kind of interpreting you’re specifically looking for – in an interview about interpreting with Language Connection’s president, Leo Galperin, we’ve outlined the key differences between the various modes of interpreting, as well as the types of services you can expect from conference interpreting, to help you make the best decision on what kind of interpreting is right for you!
Karen: Can you tell me about your interpreting services?
Leo: We are one of the oldest interpretation agencies in the country, focused on interpreting since 1993. We’ve worked with federal agencies, state agencies, private companies, and universities. Now our practice is a global practice. We have conferences in Africa, in Asia, in Europe, and we obviously work a lot in the United States.
Karen: And what is the difference, Leo, between simultaneous and consecutive interpreting?
Leo: Consecutive interpreting is when a person speaks, the speaker says a sentence, pauses, and then an interpreter translates that into his language. That’s a very time consuming and outdated yet commonly used way of interpreting. Simultaneous interpreting in turn is much faster; this is where the speaker doesn’t slow down, doesn’t stop, doesn’t pause at the end of his thought or sentence and the interpreter is usually separated from the audience, sitting in an isolation booth, gets the sound from the speaker amplified into his ears through the headphones and interprets without a pause, keeping pace with the speaker.
Karen: Is that the type that we see at the United Nations meetings?
Leo: Yes, precisely, that’s why people call it “UN style interpreting”.
Karen: I have another question for you. What type of services do you provide at conferences?
Leo: This is the core of what we do – conference support. Usually when we work with large international organizations, conference organizers, we translate their materials in advance so that speakers, when they present PowerPoint presentations, speeches, we immediately have those materials delivered in writing to the audience. Then we have simultaneous interpreters. This is key – they work from the booth, they work from those isolation booths, and interpret simultaneously and then we have consecutive interpreters who work at meetings, negotiations, within that conference. And of course we provide equipment, equipment for those conferences – all those booths, microphones, headsets, and so on. This is the core of what we do. Wherever you do business, we speak the language.