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December 6, 2018By legaltranslationsblog

When Interpretation Services Are Needed the Most

When understanding between people who don’t speak the same language is crucial, sometimes using a written translation isn’t necessarily the easiest solution. If the communication is likely to take place in an environment where the communicators are involved in face-to-face encounters an on-the-spot translation may be the best way to go. This is done by interpreters who are close by to those who need an immediate understanding of one another.

What are the Commonest Types of Interpreters?

Until recently, most interpreting would have taken place in a face-to-face situation, but with the development of the internet, video conferencing has become a technique used to aid communication. This means people at a great distance can understand each other because an interpreter can relay the spoken words in a live context between two or more communicators. Face to face interpreting can be found in many environments where accuracy is crucial this could be in any of the following contexts:


    • a courtroom;
    • a medical facility;
    • an educational institution;
    • a police station.
    • immigration interviews
    • refugee centers;
    • airports;
    • conferences;
    • meetings.

    In the above contexts, quick understanding will be the key to accurate communication so an interpreter will be called in to help facilitate this. There may be situations such as distance and time that may delay communication if an interpreter has to travel to a place. In this case, it may be possible to use an interpreter through a mobile phone. These devices are sophisticated enough to be a useful aid for an interpreter.

    Two Types of Face-to-Face Interpreting

    These are consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting. Consecutive interpreting is when the interpreter listens studiously to a speaker communicating in their language and then delivers a translated version to someone else or a group. This is the commonest form of interpreting where the interpreter sits in close proximity to the parties involved in the communication.

    This is appropriate for assisting communications between a doctor and a patient and a landlord and a tenant. Simultaneous interpreting involves a bigger group of people. The interpreter sits in a soundproof environment away from both the speaker and the audience. The interpreter will hear the speaker and will relay the translated words of the speaker to the audience using a microphone. This is the common method of facilitating understanding at conferences and large meetings. There may be several different languages involved and an interpreter will be assigned to each language.

    Sign Language Interpreting

    This is another type of skilled interpreting that may be necessary if a person not only doesn’t speak the required language but is unable to speak at all and depends on sign language to communicate. There are several different forms of sign language such as St Vincent’s, British sign language, and Irish sign language. These can all be interpreted by a skilled sign language interpreter.

    The Sight to Sight Translations

    In some medical and legal settings, it might be necessary for a translation of a document to be conducted on the spot. An example is an affidavit written by a person who doesn’t speak the language of the court, but which needs to be used immediately in a court case. The translator will take the document and read it out in the court’s language so that it is understood by all parties attending that court.


    Interpreting services are crucial in this globalized age when the movement of people has become higher than it’s ever been.   Learning a new language isn’t easy, so using an interpreter is a crucial bridge to enable communication in key contexts. This could be for legal, medical or business purposes where accurate communication is vital to ensure the right messages have been communicated.

    Last Updated On:  March 10, 2023 By legaltranslations blog

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