Interpretation Services: The Difference Between Consecutive and Simultaneous Interpretation and When to Use Each

Interpreter in MeetingWhen to Use Consecutive or Simultaneous Interpretation Services

When you’re using interpretation services in person, you generally have two options: consecutive or simultaneous. Depending on the type of interaction you’re having, one may serve you better than the other. Today in the Akorbi blog, we’ll give you a brief recap on the difference between these two interpretation services and which situations would suit each one best.

What is the Difference Between Consecutive and Simultaneous Interpretation?

Find a brief recap of each of these services below, or visit our site for an in-depth discussion of each.

Consecutive Interpretation

Consecutive interpretation is when your interpreter waits until the speaker pauses or finishes speaking to translate the message to the other person.

Simultaneous Interpretation

Simultaneous interpretation is when the interpreter translates for the speaker as they speak.

Both of these methods have their own pros and cons. Let’s delve a little deeper.

Which of These Interpretation Services Do I Need?

Now that we know the differences between these two interpretation services, let’s talk about which situations call for each one.

Consecutive interpretation services are beneficial because one person isn’t talking over the other. Although this method can take more time, it allows the interpreter to take their time to clearly convey what the speaker is trying to get across. This can break up the flow of a meeting, but it can also be worthwhile. Consecutive interpretation works best for interviews, meetings with small groups, or one-on-one meetings.

Simultaneous interpretation is much faster, with little delay between the speaker and the interpreter talking. Interpreters will need to focus in order to make this work without losing any of the context or meaning in the process. Typically, simultaneous interpretation services are used in bigger conferences or presentations where a lot of information is being communicated at once. These types of events would not flow as well with intermittent interruptions for consecutive interpretation.

Translation and Interpretation Services with Akorbi

Akorbi offers a full range of translation and interpretation services. All of our interpreters are trained in both consecutive and simultaneous interpretation, which we offer in over 150 languages. We take pride in offering the highest quality services through the expertise of our staff. For a free consultation or for more information about any of our services, contact us today.