What Type of Interpreter Do You Need?



The United States has become a nation of rich linguistic diversity. This has led various businesses to incorporate cross-cultural communication practices to better serve their clients, employees, and/or target markets. One way to serve your desired audience in spite of any language barrier, is by hiring a professional interpreter. This service relies on exceptional listening abilities, public speaking skills, and the capacity to immediately convert any cultural references into equivalent statements the intended audience will comprehend. There are many ways interpreters can achieve this, depending on the needs of the speakers or listeners. The following is a list of the major types of interpreting services that are offered at EXACT Communication:


1. Simultaneous Interpreting

This style of interpretation is one of the most common ones. It is typically used in large-scale events such as trade shows, conferences or big meetings where portable receivers are available. Simultaneous interpreters will usually work in pairs and take turns to translate the spoken content into the target language while simultaneously listening to and comprehending the next sentence. The audience will receive the message through a headset or portable receiver while the interpreters speak into a microphone in a secluded area to ensure their message is well-heard. This demands an extremely high level of interpreting and concentration skills, which is why simultaneous interpreters must take a rest between turns to ensure high quality and accuracy.

2. Consecutive Interpreting

A variety of industries including education, human services, legal, and health benefit greatly from this form of interpretation to serve their clients. It is generally used in smaller gatherings or one-on-one meetings. In here, the speaker will talk to their audience and make frequent stops (usually at the end of a paragraph, a sentence or complete thought) so the interpreter can take over. Due to the frequent stops between the speaker and interpreter, it is usually more time-consuming, but if time is not necessarily of the essence to the client, it can be a great way to communicate particularly in confidential matters.

3. Escort/Travel Interpreting Liaison

Also called Liaison interpreters, these act as an intermediary between two parties who don’t

speak the same language, helping clients during informal situations such as training meetings or even to guide their clients while they are traveling around on business trips. The interpreter will shadow a client for several hours or all day as requested, throughout everyday activities like ordering food or even closing multi-million-dollar business deals. Here at EXACT Communication, we make sure our travel interpreters are culturally competent enough to guarantee exceptional service.

4. Whisper Interpreting

Much like simultaneous interpreting except without the use of equipment (portable receiver, headset or microphone). This method is often used where only one or a handful of people who speak the same language need interpreting in a meeting. The interpreter will position themselves next to the listeners and whisper what the speaker is saying. This is one of our services often used in court rooms where interpreters listen to the judge or officer of the Court, and whisper their interpretation to the foreign-language-speaking client. Not recommended for more than two to three people as it is much harder on the interpreter’s voice.

5. OPI or Over-The-Phone Interpreting

Telephone interpretations are generally conducted consecutively (taking turns between speaker and translators) but can also be done simultaneously if both parties are ok with the receiving

party hearing only the voice of the interpreter. This type of interpreting can be scheduled on-site or over the phone as requested. We make sure our telephone interpreters provide the most accurate rendition into the target language requested.

Aside from making sure our interpreters are skilled in all these different techniques, we guarantee their knowledge of specific technical vocabulary in business, legal, and medical matters. Do you now have a better idea of what type of interpreting you might need? If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!