Interpreting Services

What types of interpreting are there?

Interpreting Services UK1 – Liaison interpreting

As the name suggests, the liaison interpreter’s role is to act as a liaison between two parties that don’t speak the same language. The speaker(s) have to stop to give the interpreter time to translate the content of the conversation. This technique is commonly used at business or training meetings.

2 – Consecutive interpreting

The consecutive interpreter’s role is similar to that of the liaison interpreter. He sits near the speakers, follows the content of the conversation, takes summary notes and uses these to provide a summary translation of the content of the conversation. This type of interpreting is very much on the decrease as it is being replaced by simultaneous interpreting. This service is very similar to liaison interpreting, but is more expensive.

3 – Whispered interpreting

The whispering interpreter sits or stands among the group and simultaneously interprets directly into the ear of the participants. This is only suitable for small groups of people sitting or standing close together and speaking the same language. In effect, it is simultaneous interpreting without equipment. There should be two interpreters taking over from each other every 20 minutes, as it is very demanding. It is not recommended for more than two or three people.

4 – Simultaneous interpreting

The simultaneous interpreter works in a soundproof room with at least one other interpreter, as the working time is limited to 20 minutes and they have to take over from each other. The speaker talks into a microphone linked to the interpreter, who has an earpiece; he then instantaneously translates the content of the speech into a microphone. The content of the speech is relayed to the listeners’ earpieces in the language concerned. The room must be equipped with interpreting equipment (headsets and microphones) and a technician should be on hand to make any necessary adjustments.

5 – Telephone interpreting

The telephone interpreter provides interpreting by telephone. The idea is simple: The service provider sets up a telephone conference by telephone or Skype, for example, between two or more people who don’t speak the same language, and places a liaison interpreter between them who will translate the conversation bit by bit. The service is the same as liaison interpreting, except that the speakers are not physically present.


In addition to a sound knowledge of the language, the interpreter must specialise in the technical vocabulary in the area concerned:

  • business interpreting (at trade shows, by telephone, welcoming foreign partners)
  • scientific interpreting (presentations by researchers)
  • legal interpreting (representation before the courts with a sworn interpreter)
  • search for foreign partners


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We provide interpreters mainly in those countries in which our group is represented by a subsidiary or sales agency: 

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, Switzerland


Optilingua works in interpreting in the following languages especially: