Consecutive Interpreting

What is Consecutive Interpreting?

Depending on the type of event and the working environment, you can choose from the two primary ‘modes’ of interpretation:

  • consecutive (immediately following), or
  • simultaneous (at the same time as the original source).

Consecutive interpretation is one of the modes of interpretation in which the speaker makes a speech or says a few sentences, whilst the interpreter takes notes. After the speaker finishes his speech, the interpreter reproduces what the speaker has said for the audience. The interpreter normally stands or sits close to the speaker, using a pen and a pad to take notes. If there is a microphone, the interpreter uses it once the speaker has finished and it is his turn to speak.

In other words, in consecutive interpreting the interpreter begins immediately following the speaker, i.e. after the speaker has finished the speech or after the speaker has made a break in their speech.

The three main actions of consecutive interpreting are:

  1. Active listening (understanding)
  2. Analyzing (taking structured notes)
  3. Reproduction (communication)

What do Consecutive Interpreters do?

Consecutive interpretation is not about memorizing words. Rather, it is about recreating the meaning of the message the speaker has conveyed through their speech.

Consecutive interpreters must be able to:

  • Listen very actively,
  • Analyze carefully what the speaker is saying,
  • Make useful notes to help jog memory of the speech,
  • Be able to make the speech in their active language, as if it were their own.

Consecutive interpretation is more than just understanding multiple languages. There is a set of different skills involved which involves far more than the ability to speak multiple languages.

Consecutive interpreters have years of highly specialized training and education, knowledge of professional terminology in various fields, are able to analyze and reproduce the complete  message upon listening for a period of time, repeating what was said in accurate detail and conveying the complete meaning of a message, and many even have master’s degrees in Conference Interpretation and are members of professional associations with rigorous membership requirements.

First, a consecutive interpreter has to learn how to ‘listen actively’. This means learning how to listen in a different way than other people, given that the purpose of the listening is very different. Interpreters are listening in order to be able to remember and accurately reproduce in another language what was said, as opposed to ‘regular’ conversations where the listener listens to react or join in the conversation.

The second phase of ‘analysis’ involves note-taking. Note-taking is the ability to prioritize information and correctly differentiate between primary and secondary information, to note down the speaker’s opinion, to be able to distinguish who has said what, when something happened, et cetera.

‘Reproducing’ is the third and final phase, during which the interpreter accesses short-term memory, understands and comprehends his notes, and then communicates them in an engaging way.

Advantages of consecutive interpreting

  • Doesn’t require any special equipment or much preparation,
  • Helps save money on interpretation services by using fewer accessories,
  • Ideal when there is not enough time to install interpreting equipment for any reason,
  • Gives interpreters more time to accurately render and communicate the speaker’s message,
  • Speech can be conveyed more fluently without losing its essence,
  • Standard of consecutive interpretation will generally be higher as interpreters don’t need to simultaneously listen and speak, which gives them more time to figure out the most suitable way to translate and deliver the message.

Not sure whether you need Consecutive or Simultaneous interpretation?

Depending on the nature and form of the event you’re holding, the form of interpretation will have to be chosen accordingly.

Consider these factors:

  1. Number of languages requiring interpretation into. If interpretation is required into one single language, both consecutive and simultaneous interpretation is a good choice. However, if the speech needs to be translated into multiple languages, consecutive interpretation wouldn’t be very practical in this case as it would mean the speaker would have to wait for all the interpreters to render translation into the target languages. This would significantly extend the duration of the event and potentially interfere with the speaker’s concentration.
  • Venue. If the venue is not already equipped with interpreting equipment and there is not enough time to ensure the delivery and installment of all the necessary equipment, simultaneous interpretation is not a practical option.
  • Duration of the event. Consecutive interpreting will make the event last at least twice as long as simultaneous interpreting, due to the nature of the interpretation. This can make your venue rental costs higher and affect the participants’ experience.
  • Type of event. Consecutive interpretation is best suitable for small meetings and any type of events which allow for breaks in speech, such as HR meetings, interviews, parent-teacher conferences, on-site facility tours, medical appointments, et cetera. On the other hand, simultaneous interpretation is best suitable for events where quick translation aimed at large groups is required, as well as for international events where multiple languages are spoken, and at events such as presentations and lectures, where a lot of information is conveyed and quick relay of data is demanded.

Why choose us for consecutive interpretation?

KL Translations Ltd offers professional consecutive interpretation services and is equipped with some of the best, highly trained conference interpreters in the world who specialize in consecutive interpretation.

We offer consecutive interpreting for a wide range of events and situations, such as:

  • Business presentations,
  • Annual summary meetings,
  • Confidential hearings,
  • On-site facility tours,
  • Court meetings,
  • Solicitor meetings,
  • Medical appointments,
  • … and many more!

Our interpreting services are available in all the major global and European languages. 

Here’s some more reasons as to why you should choose us for your consecutive interpretation needs:

Our qualified experts

Conference interpretation is an important factor in helping engage your audience and connect your company to global or local multilingual audiences.

KL Translations Ltd can provide you with a highly skilled consecutive interpreter who can:

  • Help you overcome language barriers at your events and meetings,
  • Help you reach a broader audience,
  • Allow your audience to connect and engage,
  • Elevate your business,
  • Allow your business to collaborate on an international level.

The work performed by our conference interpreters requires high skills and tremendous intellectual aptitude. Our interpreters are able to handle the complexities of different languages and content at tremendously varying types of meetings and events.

Affordable Pricing

Here at KL Translations Ltd, we offer affordable pricing options for all of your consecutive interpretation needs!

Committed customer service

We are deeply passionate about ensuring our customers’ complete satisfaction. Therefore, we have established a dedicated customer support system, there to answer any and all of your questions, concerns, inquiries and more.


Ask for a free quote!

If you’re interested in our services, feel free to request more information and a free quote directly through our website. Our team is more than excited to hear your feedback and happy to answer any questions, inquiries or concerns you might have.

We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with all your inquiries!

We’re Ready to Translate, Transcribe, and Localize Your Next Project