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What is interpreting?

Many confuse interpretation with tranlsation, or aren’t sure of what the actual differences are. Interpreting is an oral process, whereas translation is written.

Interpreting can take on a number of different forms, depending on the context:

  • Consecutive Interpreting
  • Simultaneous Interpreting
  • Liaison Interpreting
  • Whisper Interpreting

Provide us with as much information as you can so we can pinpoint the best solution for your linguistic projects (whether in English, German, Spanish, etc.). TradOnline will advise you on the best solution for your needs.

Note: interpreting and interpretation are both terms you may hear, but refer to the same service!

TradOnline can also accompany you with a remote interpretation offering, if the concept fits your needs.

What’s the benefit? First, you’ll save on travel fees as the interpreter wont need to travel to your venue.

This offering may be particularly effective for business meetings, piloting committees, monthly general assembly meetings, etc.
If you have any questions or need advice on which solution is best for you, don’t hesitate to ask!

Consecutive Interpreting

Along with the different types of interpreting (whisper, simultaneous, liaison), consecutive interpreting is a complex practice that requires specific skills (technical note taking, public speaking and oration, etc.).

In order to ensure this demanding linguistic service is successfully carried out, call on an agency with confirmed experience in the matter! With more than 10 years of proven expertise in the business, TradOnline accompanies you with translation and interpretation services that meet or exceed your expectations.

What is consecutive interpreting?

This is a type of interpretation that is carried out without any specific material. The interpreter will take notes enabling them to translate the speaker’s words into their native after.

Consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting have some notable differences.

When it comes to simultaneous interpreting, a conference’s interpreters will translate a speech into the target language when and as the speaker presents. The discourse is, for all intents and purposes, instantly transmitted to the target audience. This type of interpretation requires very specific material (soundproof booths, microphones, headsets, etc.). It is the type of interpretation we advise for televised exchanges, summits, or assemblies such as the UN, for example.

A consecutive interpretation differs in that the interpreter translates the content a few minutes after the speaker has concluded with their point. Once the speaker pauses, it’s up to the interpreter to transmit the message aloud to the audience. No need for specific equipment as the speaker and interpreter are standing side-by-side.

How does this service work?
  1. The speaker gives a part of their speech (a few sentences lasting no more than 10 minutes).
  2. During this time, the interpreter listens actively to what is said. They must ensure they have a global understanding of what is being said in order to be able to relay it to the audience in another language. In order to help them remember the points covered, they will take structured notes. They will analyse the speech, ranking the importance of the information.
  3. When the speaker finishes with an idea, they pause to enable the interpreter to relay the information. The interpreter must rely on their own speaking skills to communicate in an attention-capturing and effective way, transmitting a condensed version of the original speech.

This back-and-forth continues as often as necessary right up to the end of the speech.

Consecutive interpreting: field of application

There are multiple use cases for consecutive interpreting: small committee meetings, field visits (diplomatic), short speeches, court testimonies, business lunches, discussion in the medical field (between doctors and patients), etc.

The advantages of consecutive interpreting
  • No need to for technical equipment. Because it’s so easy to set up, this type of interpreting is ideal for things like outdoor or spur of the moment meetings.
  • Reduced costs. You’ll only be billed for the services carried out by the interpreter. There’s no extra costs associated with renting equipment, which is a big source of savings.
  • Ability to adjust the translated message to aid foreign listeners to understand. Indeed, unlike simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting enables the professional interpreter to take the time to work through any potential problems: repetitions, complex turns of phrases, misinterpretations, etc.

Pay attention to the sound!

The inconveniences of this type of interpretation
  • Doubles the length of the meeting, speech, testimony, etc. This is the biggest shortcoming!  If a speech is set to take 1 hour, then you mustn’t forget to set aside an equal amount of time for the interpreter to transmit the message.
  • Differed translation. Listeners who don’t speak the same language as the speaker receive the information a bit later, which can be tiresome after a while.
  • Transmitting the overall message. By and large, you’re losing out on accuracy compared to with simultaneous interpreting. The aim is essentially to convey the general meaning of the words, without trying to translate each sentence precisely.

TradOnline language services: real industrial expertise

TradOnline offers professional-quality consecutive interpreting services to meet your needs thanks to:

  • More than 10 years of experience in managing this type of bespoke language service
  • A network of qualified and experienced interpreters who are generally members of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). As well as mastering the working languages, they have many years of experience in note-taking techniques for consecutive interpreting. These expert professionals have all the other qualities required for this type of service: eloquence, public speaking skills, ability to memorize information, etc.
  • A wide range of language combinations (basic and rare) to meet all your needs: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, etc.
  • A team of dedicated and committed project managers at your side to ensure success with every project.
Simultaneous Interpreting

This is undoubtedly the method of interpretation that is both the most common and the most familiar to the general public, as it is used in televised speeches and conferences at international institutions. However, simultaneous interpreting is first and foremost a particularly complex exercise that can only properly be carried out by experienced professionals.

To ensure the success of your large-scale event with a multilingual audience, put your trust in TradOnline’s professional expertise! As a true partner for over 10 years, we offer conference interpreting services to meet your needs.

What is simultaneous interpreting or conference interpreting?

Also mistakenly referred to as “simultaneous translation”, simultaneous interpreting involves orally translating a speech into another language while the speaker is presenting.

This is one of the main differences in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting.

With consecutive interpreting, the interpretation follows only once the speaker has finished talking. While the speaker is presenting, the interpreter only takes notes and waits for the speaker to finish expressing their idea.

Unlike consecutive interpreting, simultaneous interpreting takes place in real time. A conference interpreter will listen to the speaker and translate their words into the target language as they are speaking. In other words almost immediately (just a few seconds behind the speaker).

How does this type of interpretation work?


  • The speaker delivers his or her speech without paying any mind to the interpreter.
  • Usually stationed in a soundproof booth with a view of the speaker, conference interpreters listen to the speech and translate live in their native language, all the while continuing to listen to the rest of the speech at the same time.
  • Equipped with headsets set to the language of their choice, participants hear the interpretation in real time.
Simultaneous interpreting: the equipment you need

Specific interpreting equipment is essential to carry out high-quality simultaneous interpreting. In other words, in the best possible conditions for the interpreter to concentrate and deliver a coherent, audible translation for listeners.

In the majority of cases the interpreters are in soundproof booths fitted with special equipment, like a headset and microphone. They listen to what the speaker has to say through their headphones, which prevents any noise pollution. They then transmit the translated speech via their microphones. Participants hear the interpretation through headphones or earpieces on which they can choose the language they would like to hear.

The room must be equipped with a sound system, including a microphone used by the speaker to transmit sound directly into the booths.

Simultaneous interpreting: the qualities required

During simultaneous interpreting, the native interpreter has to perform several actions at the same time:

  • Listen to the words spoken.
  • Process and analyse the information to understand its meaning.
  • Speak to transfer the translated text.

This highly complex service therefore requires:

  • Perfect command of the working languages
  • Real concentration and active listening skills
  • A very good short- and long-term memory for remembering the beginning and end of sentences
  • Specific training and experience to carry out these mental gymnastics.

Given the intellectual effort required, this type of interpretation is carried out in a team. In general, 2 or 3 interpreters per language take turns every 30 minutes or more frequently if the pace is fast.

Advantages and disadvantages

Thanks to this linguistic service, communication flows smoothly between the various stakeholders. The speaker does not need to pause to allow the interpreter speak. All listeners receive the information at approximately the same time, whether they’re listening to the source language or the interpretation.

As the interpretation is carried out almost instantaneously, the duration of the event is the same as if it was all in just one language. It’s a great way to save time when you’ve got a busy schedule!

The main disadvantage is the need for specific equipment. This means additional costs.

A simultaneous interpreter does not have the time to reformulate an idea as a consecutive interpreter might to improve the quality of the interpretation.

When is simultaneous interpreting recommended?

This method of interpreting is generally recommended for large meetings with multilingual audiences or where time is of the essence such as:

  • Conferences and summits of various international organisations: UN, EU, UNESCO..
  • Shareholder meetings or large multinational meetings scheduled over a period that cannot be extended
  • Medical congresses, technical conferences…

Thanks to technological innovations, a new practice is becoming more widespread: remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI).

This system requires a specific platform. It is used for online events such as short meetings (around 2 hours) with a limited number of languages and participants.

5 reasons to use TradOnline’s interpreting and translation services

  1. More than 10 years of business expertise in managing this type of mission.
  2. An extensive network of experienced and specialised professional interpreters. Trained and experienced in all interpreting techniques (simultaneous, consecutive, etc.), they will ensure the success of your international event.
  3. All the language combinations from the most common to the rarest, to provide a tailor-made solution to your needs.
  4. Intervention available in all French cities (Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, Lille, etc.) and abroad (particularly in Europe).
  5. A single point of contact for your peace of mind. Our dedicated project manager will coordinate your project to ensure that your conference runs smoothly.

Whispered interpreting (chuchotage), simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting or liaison interpreting… Whatever type of interpreting you need, we can provide a quality service.

Liaison Interpreting

Your work meetings, site visits or other informal events bring together people who do not speak the same language. Liaison interpreting is the service for you!

While there are several types of interpreting (whispered, simultaneous, consecutive), liaison interpreting is ideal for enabling live verbal communication through a linguistic intermediary.

You can count on TradOnline, the translation and interpreting agency, to ensure a profitable exchange for all participants! With over 10 years’ experience, we offer language services tailored to your requirements and challenges.

What is liaison interpreting?

This is the only type of interpreting for which the interpreter must translate the words of 2 speakers, each of whom speaks a different language. The oral translation of the conversation must be carried out in both directions. This is why liaison interpreting is also called “bilateral interpreting”.

It lends itself to more relaxed and natural exchanges, and to close discussions between participants.

In liaison interpreting, the interpreter translates what each participant says, without any equipment or note-taking, as they speak (sentence by sentence or at each short pause in the speaker’s speech). It’s dynamic, almost like a discussion between 2 people speaking the same language.

How does this interpreting service work?

The liaison interpreter works alongside both parties.

He listens to what the first speaker has to say and then translates it back into the second speaker’s language bit by bit. And vice versa, every time one of the parties speaks.

An expert in the field of translation and interpreting, this language service provider may intervene to ask questions or request clarification. The aim is to clarify points that could lead to confusion.

They play an active role to clear up any misunderstandings that could be detrimental to the continuation of the conversation.

Liaison interpreter: the skills required

A professional liaison interpreter is not required to have the same level of expertise as a conference interpreter. The latter is required to carry out more complex assignments (consecutive and simultaneous interpreting).

However, a liaison interpreter must combine several skills to provide a professional quality service:

  • Have a native speaking level in 2 languages the interpreter doesn’t translate solely into his or her native language.
  • Mastery of the specialized field concerned (medical, technical, business, etc.) and the specific terminology involved. They must be able to understand what is being said in a specific professional sector, and quickly convey it in another language.
  • Have good interpersonal skills as they will be acting as a language provider and working side-by-side with their client. The service they provide plays a big part in ensuring negotiations between 2 stakeholders with different languages and cultures are carried out in the best possible conditions.

Liaison interpreting: for what types of events?

In general, this type of interpreting is best suited to events involving small groups taking place in a, informal setting:

  • With a limited number of speakers: for a face-to-face meeting or an exchange between a few members of a small group of 2 to 5 people maximum.
  • With no more than 2 different languages spoken by the participants, as the liaison interpreter acts alone to translate a conversation in both directions.

For example, during an international corporate meeting, the recruitment of a foreign employee or business negotiations, the liaison interpreter plays an essential role in enabling the speakers to understand each other and communicate effectively.

Other situations may also require liaison interpreters. This could include such domains as the medical field (for medical visits), legal practices (notarial deeds), tourism (guided tours), diplomatic negotiations (closed-door meetings) and media interviews (press conferences)

Why use TradOnline’s liaison interpreting services?

For more than 10 years, TradOnline has been offering its clients expert interpreting services.

To ensure the success of each language mission, we offer:

  • Concrete experience in managing these bespoke services.
  • An extensive network of native-speaking professionals (interpreters and translators). Backed by a formal education and experience, these language professionals are selected for their high level of interpreting and translation skills and are available all across France (Lyon, Paris, Lille, Bordeaux, Marseille, Strasbourg, etc.). But we also have experienced service providers in other countries (particularly in Europe).
  • A wide range of language combinations (European, Nordic, Asian) to meet all your needs: French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Brazilian, Arabic, Russian, and more!
  • A single, committed project manager who works hand-in-hand with you. The project manager coordinates every step of the project, from A to Z, so you can rest easy.

Consecutive, simultaneous, liaison or whispered interpreting… Whatever your needs, TradOnline is your partner of choice, offering you the most appropriate interpreting services and ensuring the success of your event.

Whisper Interpreting

Like other forms of interpreting (simultaneous, consecutive, etc.), whispered interpreting requires real expertise in the field.
For this service, which is reserved for very specific situations, call on the translation and interpreting services of a trusted partner like TradOnline. It’s the guarantee of a successful business event with foreign participants.

Whispered interpreting: the specifics of this service

Whispered interpreting is a kind of simultaneous interpreting performed without any special equipment.

In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter works from a soundproof booth fitted with a microphone. They translate a speaker’s words in real time into the target language (their native language) for listeners equipped with earpieces or headphones. This service is generally provided for large-scale conferences, international conventions or televised exchanges. In the case of whispered interpreting the simultaneous interpreter proceeds in the same way: simultaneously translating what is being said. But they stand next to their customer(s) (2 maximum). They provide the translation in a low voice, whispering in the participant’s ear. The interpreter must be positioned close enough to the speaker to be clearly heard. This up-close and personal interpreting service is only suitable for certain types of event.

The scope of this method of interpretation

This is the type of interpreting recommended for specific events such as meetings, workshops or professional negotiations, with the following characteristics:

  • Only involving small groups with a limited number of participants.
  • With no more than 2 people who do not understand the language used by all the other participants (only one language translated). Imagine the cacophony if 200 participants at an international meeting each had a whisper interpreter!

A short duration. This demanding service requires absolute concentration from the professional interpreters on assignment. They have to listen, understand and translate while the speaker continues talking. What’s more, whisper interpreting can be hard on their vocal cords. It should therefore be reserved for short speeches (generally under 1 hour). If the short conference or meeting lasts longer, you will need 2 interpreters so that they can take turns.

The advantages of whisper interpreting
  • This language service enables meeting participants to follow, in real time, the conversations and speeches (without interruption), even though they do not master the language used during the event.
  • A quick and easy solution to implement. Whisper interpreting does not require any specific equipment (booths, microphones, headphones, etc.). No need to install technical equipment. It’s a real time-saver. You just need to ensure the interpreter is close to the listeners who need this linguistic service. Thus, you can decide if you need this service (almost) at the last minute.
  • Reduced costs. You only need to pay for the work carried out by the interpreter. There are no additional costs of hiring equipment.
The disadvantages of whisper interpreting
  • Noise disturbance caused by the interpreter’s continuous whispering. However slight, this background noise can be unpleasant for other participants, particularly those closest to the service being carried out.
  • Difficulties in understanding for listeners who require interpretation. As they are not equipped with headphones or earphones, they hear the speaker’s words and the interpreter’s translation side by side.
  • Uncomfortable working conditions for the interpreter. Without any special equipment, they may have difficulty hearing the speaker if they are too far away. It’s also a bit of a vocal effort to speak loudly enough to be heard by the listener, but softly enough not to disturb the other participants.

Lower level of precision. It is not a strict equivalent to simultaneous interpreting. This service essentially consists of reciting a summary of what has been said so that participants get a general understanding of the meaning.

TradOnline interpreting and translation services: a company to match your strategic challenges

Choosing TradOnline as your translation and interpreting agency is a guarantee of professional interpreting services:

  • With proven experience in carrying out this type of language service
  • A network of trained, qualified and experienced interpreters for all language combinations
  • A dedicated project manager who is implicated in the success of each assignment: from choosing an interpreter with the right skill set to the management of logistics and much more.

Need help deciding whether whisper interpreting is the right method for you? Our project managers can advise you on a case-by-case basis to choose the right solution whisper, simultaneous, consecutive, or liaison interpreting.

Depending on the length of the event, the number of participants and the number of people concerned by the translation requirement, we provide a tailor-made solution to make your event in France (Paris or elsewhere) a success.