Consecutive interpreting refers to the most complex and intellectually challenging exercise, provided that it is carried out rigorously and according to the rules, which means, the interpreter listens and takes notes of the speech delivered by a speaker and translates the speech in front of an audience when the speaker pauses.
The interpreter uses a note-taking method which has nothing in common with the stenographic technique based on conventional signs. As we used to say: "shorthand is too long for interpretation". Consecutive interpreting is used to transpose the meaning into the target language , to convey ideas while respecting the original message.
To succeed in the consecutive interpreting exercise, good language skills and wide-ranging general knowledge are fundamental. The interpreter must have a great capacity for analysis and synthesis and a perfect command of the highly personal note-taking technique.
The interpreter waits for the speaker to finish the speech before translating what was just said. Because it is a talk and pause method, the interpretation takes longer than simultaneous interpreting and is tedious for the audience, as it significantly extends the duration of the event.
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Indeed, the interpreter is at the heart of exchanges between counterparts from different cultures, and its role is to make disappear any linguistic and cultural barrier with tact and elegance, to give priority to communication and understanding.
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