Though interpreting and translation are related fields and use some of the same skills, they are in fact different professions. Interpreting involves transferring a spoken or signed language to another and there are two main types: simultaneous and consecutive.
Simultaneous interpreters listen to a speaker while translating at the same time to a listener. Usually, this means they interpret in one direction only, for instance from English into French. This is usually best for large events, such as conferences.
In comparison, consecutive interpreting involves waiting for the speaker to pause before relaying information. Consecutive interpreters swap between languages making this type of interpreting better for one-on-one conversations or small groups.
Because of the skill needed when interpreting professionally, interpreters usually train for at least two years and further qualifications might also be needed. For example, to interpret in court, interpreters must be registered with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI).
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