Interpreting is one of the most difficult types of performed interpretation.
There are several modes of interpreting:
- Simultaneous interpretation - In (extempore) simultaneous interpretation (SI), the interpreter renders the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks; an oral-language SI interpreter, sitting in a sound-proof booth, speaks into a microphone, while clearly seeing and hearing the source-language speaker via earphones.
Sight Translation - Sight translation combines interpretation and translation; the interpreter must render the source-language document to the target-language as if it were written in the target language. Sight translation occurs usually, but not exclusively, in judicial and medical work.
Whispered - In whispered interpreting (chuchotage, in French) sometimes called whispering simultaneous, the interpreter sits or stands next to the person or people requiring interpretation (a maximum of two people can be accommodated, unless a microphone and headphones are used) The interpreter does not whisper, as this would after a time be taxing on the voice making further speech impossible due to the hoarseness whispering for long periods induces. Instead the interpreter speaks softly using normal (voiced) speech kept at a low volume. The interpreter's mouth and the ear of the person listening must be in close proximity so as not to disturb the others in the room. Without electronic equipment, chucotage is tiring as the interpreter's posture is affected.
Consecutive interpretation - In consecutive interpreting (CI), the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has finished speaking. The speech is divided into segments, and the interpreter sits or stands beside the source-language speaker, listening and taking notes as the speaker progresses through the message. When the speaker pauses or finishes speaking, the interpreter then renders a portion of the message or the entire message in the target language.