What is consecutive interpreting?
Within the area of conference interpreting, we find the branch of consecutive interpreting. Conference interpreting seeks to communicate ideas and to facilitate the exchange and transfer of information. A consecutive interpreting “consists of the reformulation of the source text into the target language, dictated as a monologue in between the pauses the orator makes to allow the interpreting. The interpreter takes notes and never speaks over the orator”; these types of interpreting should be used be used in, for example, technical or scientific presentations, working luncheons, visits, or small meetings.
The interpreter is always in the presence of the orator during a consecutive interpreting and takes notes of the discussion in progress. Taking notes is a requirement of the consecutive interpreting, since its objective is to serve as support to remember and reproduce the structure of discourse and logical relationship between ideas; that is, note taking does not consist of rewriting the entire discourse into the target language. A qualified professional can interpret a conversation in ten minutes, with a high degree of accuracy.
Some of the essential characteristics of an interpreter include:
- Exceptional concentration
- Excellent analysis skills
- Good memory
They must also have sound general knowledge and culture, good diction and a flexible mind, be rigorous, and well prepared to deal with the specific topic of a meeting.