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Types of interpreting

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The different interpreting techniques and their fields of application are described below:


The interpreter works with another colleague in a booth (or has visual contact using a monitor) and they interpret the speaker(s) simultaneously, i.e. at the same time and with a minimum lag. Resources: headset and console, interpreting equipment.

Recommended field of application:

Specialised congresses and symposia, presentations of company reports and other conferences by international companies (with a recommended minimum of 7 attendees), presentations for more than 50 people, European board meetings, etc.


Agility, flexibility, saves time, is elegant.


Increases costs due to the fees for two interpreters per language, as well as the costs of the booth(s), technicians, etc.; requires a lot of space (interpreting booths and equipment); visually unbecoming on solemn occasions (booths).

Other forms of simultaneous interpreting:


The interpreter works alone and simultaneously, but whispering for one or, at most, two listeners.

Recommended field of application:

Interpreting for 1 or 2 participants, at most, during a congress or presentation in a foreign language. Resources: notebook for taking notes and a pen.


It need not be in a fixed place. It is flexible and more affordable.


Requires an excellent sense of hearing and the whispering must be pleasant.

Interpreting with portable interpreting equipment

The interpreter works alone. Resources: portable interpreting equipment with battery-operated headset and microphone.

Field of application:

During visits to companies, as a guide for small groups


Flexibility and freedom of movement. No need for a fixed setting.


Sound quality is only average, which negatively affects interpreting. Only suitable for small groups. The cost of the portable equipment.


The interpreter works alone. He or she takes notes during the presentation and translates 5- to 10-minute sections of the speech into the other language. Resources: notebook for taking notes and a pen, sometimes a microphone.

Recommended field of application:

Commercial meetings at round tables, official openings, solemn speeches, product presentations, speeches at banquets and the like.


Mobility, affordability. Contributes to solemn atmosphere.


It is slower and out-of-synch, sometimes requiring twice as much time.


The interpreter works alone and interprets one to two sentences during the pauses of the speaker's talk in order to maintain the talk’s flow. Resources: notebook for taking notes and a pen.

Recommended field of application:

Visits to companies, trade shows, negotiation meetings, commercial meetings.


Mobility, affordability.


Out-of-synch. Only suitable for small groups.


This is a new interpreting method used at institutions, hospitals and other facilities.

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