Onsite Consecutive Interpretation

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Consecutive Interpretation is the process of interpreting what is said, after it is said. The interpreter hears a sentence or short paragraph in the source language and then interprets it accurately into the target language. A consecutive interpreter is ideal for court and other legal proceedings such as trials, arbitration hearings and depositions, as well as for medical appointments. Consecutive interpreters are also recommended for business meetings and tours which are characterized by back-and-forth discussion and brief questions and answers. While interpreters often interpret onsite or on-premise, consecutive interpretation can be offered remotely via telephone or video conference using a variety of technology platforms.

What is Onsite Consecutive Interpretation?

In the consecutive interpretation mode, the interpreter interprets what is said in one language into another language, after it is said. For example, in a business meeting between a Spaniard and an Englishman, a Spanish interpreter is hired to provide consecutive interpretation. The interpreter waits for the Englishman to say a few words, or a whole sentence, or even a small paragraph. He then interprets accurately what has been said in English into Spanish and vice versa.  Depending on the type of meeting, a consecutive interpreter often takes notes and even uses shorthand to remember all the words that have been spoken. The consecutive interpretation process necessarily makes for a longer meeting in order to allow the interpreter to interpret everything said, after it is said by each one of the participants in their respective language.  However, professional consecutive interpreters can often interpret at a fast pace, ensuring that a meeting still flows smoothly.

When is it used?

Consecutive interpretation is ideal for meetings and proceedings where participants expect to speak in short segments. It is the preferred mode of interpretation for question and answer sessions during medical appointments, legal proceedings, trade shows and interviews to name a few, in addition to back-and-forth discussions in small groups, not to exceed three or four persons. It is possible to conduct presentations before large foreign audiences via a consecutive interpreter insofar as the speaker is comfortable pausing for the interpreter after each sentence. With short presentations or conferences which involve opening or closing remarks, or a brief introduction, the consecutive mode can be effective in adding a warm touch to an international meeting. For more extensive speeches or presentations, the simultaneous interpretation mode should be used.

What are the necessary Language Interpreter Qualifications for Onsite Consecutive Interpretation (OCI)?

Depending on their level of expertise and specialization our onsite consecutive interpreters have one or more of the following qualifications:

  • Interpretation and/or Translation Undergraduate or Masters Degree
  • State Court Certification (USA) or international judicial interpreter license
  • Federal Court Certification (for some languages in the USA only)
  • US Department of State (Conference, Seminar or Liaison)
  • UN, AIIC, TAALs, ATA or other interpretation and translation association membership and/or accreditation.
  • Healthcare Interpretation Certificate (40-hour training)
  • Community Interpretation Certificate (40-hour training)

Our consecutive interpreters have an average of 5 years of working experience in a variety of industries.

How many interpreters are needed for Onsite Consecutive Interpretation (OCI)?

For general or non-technical consecutive interpretation lasting 8 hours or less, with reasonable breaks one interpreter is able to handle all the consecutive interpretation alone. However, for complex interpretations common in legal or business settings, two interpreters may be preferable. If a meeting is technically demanding and takes a long time, it becomes physically and mentally taxing to the interpreter in which case it is advisable for there to be a team of two interpreters who can take turns and assist each other throughout the proceeding.

What are the Benefits of Onsite Consecutive Interpretation (OCI)?

  • Onsite consecutive interpretation is often the most efficient and reliable way of offering interpretation during a meeting.
  • A consecutive interpreter does not just interpret the literal meaning of each word from one language into another but conveys the full meaning accurately.
  • By being physically present the interpreter can see and hear what is being said perfectly and can in turn interpret more accurately and completely than in any other mode or type of interpretation.
  • Consecutive interpretation is ideal for question-and-answer and back-and-forth discussions.
  • The trained onsite consecutive interpreter is adept at handling interjections, interruptions, mid-sentence pauses and unpredictable conversation flows and interactions. Through it all a professional onsite consecutive interpreter manages the communication expertly to ensure that everything is interpreted impartially for the benefit of all parties.
  • Consecutive interpretation works perfectly in some of the following settings:
    • Business Services: Boardroom meetings, negotiations, brainstorming sessions, interviews, factory tours and workplace trainings. Our interpreters’ cultural sensitivity to foreign customs and their high level of specialization in the subject matter enables them to translate back and forth smoothly even when dealing with complex products and services.
    • Press conferences or presentations: In short meetings with larger audiences, it makes sense to have a consecutive interpreter on stage next to the speaker interpreting questions and answers back and forth from journalists or other attendees. Highly-trained consecutive interpreters have the experience and professional presence to remain focused in high-pressure environments when so much hinges on their competent interpretation.
    • Education: Onsite consecutive interpreters are recommended for parent-teacher meetings, individualized education programs (IEPs) and school conferences that often involve active engagement from all the parties.
    • Legal Services: In legal proceedings such as depositions, trials, arbitration, Workers Compensation and other hearings onsite consecutive interpretation is the best mode of interpretation to guarantee neutral, impartial and accurate interpretation. Certified court interpreters are prepared to interpret correctly in the most demanding and sometimes even hostile environments. Some judicial interpreters are also equipped to interpret consecutively during extremely technical proceedings requiring specialized knowledge in unique fields of law e.g. patent law.
    • Healthcare: For Independent Medical Evaluations, doctor’s appointments, hospitals visits and emergency room settings, onsite consecutive interpreters are trained to deliver high-quality interpretation to patients and providers alike. The onsite consecutive mode is the most helpful way to interpret for those who are injured, sick and requiring immediate medical attention.
    • Government and Non-Profit: Government, community and social services organizations benefit from onsite consecutive interpreters who can facilitate communication for asylum seekers, immigrants and ethnic minorities who only speak languages of limited diffusion.

We take the guesswork out of the selection process by recruiting only the finest consecutive interpreters with the specific skills necessary to complete your assignment successfully.

Please email us or call us today at 1 877-808-5030 for a complimentary consultation.