Consecutive interpreting is appropriate for gatherings with a small number of participants, such as press conferences, bilateral meetings and business meetings. It is also used at large gatherings or cultural events where it is not technically feasible to provide an audio headset to each participant. While the presenter is speaking, the interpreter takes notes with the help of a notation system and then interprets the content for the audience.
This type of interpreting does not require any special equipment. Its disadvantage, however, is the idle time resulting from alternations between the presenter and the interpreter.
Press conferences can utilise either of the two types of interpreting services; the specific method depends on the format of the event. When a press conference requires interpreting into multiple languages, simultaneous interpreting is best. Shorter press conferences requiring interpreting into a single language are generally managed with consecutive interpreting. In these situations a speaker presents their prepared communiqué and then passes the microphone to the interpreter, who reconstructs the communiqué in the target language from the notes he or she has made. After this sequence, questions from the audience follow. An audio record is often made at a press conference.
Meetings involving political leaders and high-level government officials are usually interpreted consecutively with the help of note-taking. At bilateral meetings involving the highest level of state representation, each party generally invites its own interpreter, who interprets the remarks of his or her state representative into the language of the other party. In addition to having knowledge of the topic under discussion, interpreters engaged in these types of meetings need to understand the roles of the various participants involved. They must also have a good overview of the political landscape in both countries and to be aware of current world events.
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