Find out about the 6 different types of Interpretations!

Within the language and translations industry, there are a lot of different interpretation choices to pick from for every scenario. There are six major types of interpretations used, some more often than others but each with their own demand.



1. Consecutive Interpreting

This is a mode of interpretation where the speaker stops and starts to allow the interpreter to translate effectively. Some interpreters create symbols beforehand to use for note taking.

2. Simultaneous Interpreting

The interpreter translates the speaker’s words while the speaker is still speaking. This type of interpretation usually takes place in a different area with certain equipment such as ear pieces. Due to the interpreter needing to process information, they usually start after a delay and translate the messages into their own words. It is common for interpreters to change every 30 minutes in these situations as sessions may last for long periods of time. 

3.Escort Interpreting or Travel Interpreting

Escort/Travel interpreters are foreign language speaking assistants as they assist travellers, often business people, on trips and meetings. They also act as cultural intermediaries who help their clients adjust to the foreign culture.

4. Whisper Interpreting

Whisper interpreting is similar to simultaneous interpreting but the interpreter is sitting next to the speaker without any equipment and  whispers while interpreting in the target language. This is often used when only one person requires interpreting in business meetings or courtrooms. 

5. OPI (Over-the-Phone Interpretation)

This type of interpreting can be both consecutive and simultaneous but takes place over the phone. It can work simultaneously if the speakers are ok with only hearing the interpreter’s voice, otherwise it will be conducted consecutively which is the most common method. 

6. On-Demand Phone Interpreting

This mode of interpreting takes place on the phone and is commonly used when immediate translations are needed to communicate. Someone calls an interpretation service, picks the right language and is then connected to an interpreter. These interpreters can be found in a matter of minutes which is effective for people and organisations.