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When interpreting in a consecutive mode, an interpreter starts speaking after the source-language speaker has stopped speaking. The report/speech is usually divided into 3 to 5-minute long segments, the interpreter sits or stands beside the speaker, listening and, if necessary, taking notes as the speaker delivers the message. When the speaker makes a pause, the interpreter then delivers the entire message in the target language.
Consecutive interpretation can be short or long. In short interpretation, the interpreter tries to memorize each brief message. In long interpretation, the interpreter waits while the speaker speaks, takes notes of the message as it is impossible to keep in mind very long passages. The length of each part/segment is agreed upon with the client before the event, depending on the subject and the purpose of interpretation.
At events during which consecutive interpreting is employed segments of speech need to be short; 10 or 15 minutes is considered too long since people do not like to sit through 10 minutes of information they cannot understand.
Chuchotage or whispered interpreting
In whispered interpreting (chuchotage, in French), the interpreter sits or stands next to the listener(s) whispering the interpretation into their ear; this mode requires no special equipment. Chuchotage is used at events where the majority of the audience speak the source language, and a minority (ideally, one or two persons) do not.
See also Simultaneous Interpreting.
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