What is Interpretation?

Interpretation and translation are two terms that are often used interchangeably.  However, translation is the transfer of written text from one language to another, and interpretation is the transfer of spoken word from one language to another. Let's look at this in more depth.

In general, there are considered to be three modes of interpretation: simultaneous, consecutive and sight.

Sight translation is the oral interpretation of a written document. Sight translation is frequently done to give oral interpretations of routine written documents in English, including waiver of rights forms, DUI forms, and police reports. 

Consecutive interpretation is when the interpreter listens to a segment of speech in the source language and then conveys that message into the target language. While the length of those segments may vary, the norm is approximately 40-60 words at a time.

Finally, simultaneous interpretation is when the interpreter is slightly delayed behind the source language speaker, interpreting the message into the target language at almost the same time as the original message.

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