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What's the Difference in Simultaneous and Consecutive Delivery?

June 3, 2015

Advancements in computer technologies and improvements in transportation worldwide have caused many nation-based companies to rapidly adapt to life in the Global Village. As international barriers to commerce are lessened or eliminated, there has been a globalization of the production and delivery of goods and services that has advanced more quickly than changes to each nation's language. Naturally, the more languages being spoken in a multilingual meeting or event, the more complex the interpretation and translation tasks become.

Nowadays, it is the role of interpreters to make communication possible between persons who do not share a common language. Listed below are some helpful definitions:

Native Language defines one's most basic sociolinguistic identity. It is the mother tongue that was first learned and most often used.

Floor language is the language that a presenter or main speaker is using to deliver a message. The floor language can change as different speakers take the podium.

Target language is the language of a specific translational feed to participants who do not commonly use the floor language that is being spoken.

As your requirements for participating in or hosting multilingual events increases, it is strategically important to ensure your message is received as though everyone in attendance was speaking the same language.

Simultaneous interpretation requires an interpreter to convert a message being delivered in a floor language to a target language in near real time. Typically, the interpreter will use a sound-proof booth to receive the speech while immediately broadcasting the message in the target language via infrared or FM audio receivers worn by event participants. A major advantage is achieved in not interrupting the delivery of a speaker's message.

Consecutive interpretation on the other hand is not as immediate. In most cases, the interpreter will stand or sit alongside the participant. The speaker will deliver a sentence or short segment of their speech and pause while the interpreter delivers the message in the target language. Naturally, the most significant shortcoming is the extra amount of time it takes to deliver the same speech. The advantage is that each segment is fully received by the interpreter providing for a more accurate and meaningful delivery.

To receive a quote or learn more about hosting a multilingual event, contact ProLingo toll free at 800.287.9755.

Client Spotlight

I am writing today to compliment the exceptional customer service shown by your team members. Our organization recently hosted a group of high profile religious leaders from North, Central and south America for which English to Spanish translation was a necessity. My entire staff and I were impressed by the quality of ProLingo's equipment, pricing and most importantly their employees. I am looking forward to working with ProLingo again in the future and will gladly recommend your services to others.
- S. Caprani, Episcopal Church of Central Florida

5 / 5 stars

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