Interpreting after the speaker has finished

Interpreting at the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival

How it works

Consecutive interpreting refers to the translation of speech after such speech has concluded. The speaker and interpreter usually alternate every three to five minutes.

For example, a speaker may be giving a short talk to present an exhibition, during which time the interpreter stands nearby making notes of what is being said. Note-taking is an essential part of consecutive interpreting. It involves committing to paper the logic and structure of the statement as an aid to memory, rather than recording everything that is said. Once the speaker has finished, the interpreter gives the talk in the required language.

This kind of interpreting is suitable for presentations given by a single speaker, or in meetings where only a small number of languages are spoken as it adds, unavoidably, to the length of the meeting.


By way of example, I provided consecutive interpreting at the following events among others:

  • A Medicos del Mundo conference about female genital mutilation, in Zaragoza
  • The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival during Q&A sessions with actors and directors
  • A talk by Rouleur and Volata magazines at a cycling conference in Zaragoza

Interpreting for Volata and Rouleur magazines
(Source: Volata)

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