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There are two modes of face-to-face Translation:

  1. Consecutive: a person speaks and then waits while an interpreter relays the information.

  2. Simultaneous: the interpreter interprets while the person speaks.

Our helpful staff will assist you in determining which will best suit your needs.


Consecutive Translation is typically used when an interpreter is needed to facilitate a conversation. Some common examples are between: a doctor and a patient, an attorney or advocate and a client, business owner and a customer.

With consecutive Translation an interpreter waits while the speaker is talking and interprets only after the speaker has stopped, allowing the interpreter to repeat the words in a foreign language. The “conversation” is between the two parties. The interpreter accurately relays the information back and forth, but is never part of the conversation.

Simultaneous Translation is typically used when a person or group of people are speaking to an audience. The communication is largely one-sided, but continuous. Examples in which simultaneous Translation would be the preferred mode include award presentations, court proceedings, convention speeches and lectures. This mode of Translation is rarely used with other spoken languages. Typically a sign language (ASL) interpreter listens to the speaker while simultaneously signing what is being said.

Consecutive Translation is most common. Be sure to allow more time for the Translation between parties than with a regular conversation. If you need Translation services for a group discussion or therapy meeting, with people talking rapidly and sometimes interrupting each other, team Translation (especially with ASL) is usually required to keep up with the speakers. Simultaneous Translation often benefits from team Translation as well due to the tremendous physical excursion and mental dexterity needed to keep up with a well-rehearsed speaker.

Confidentiality – HIPAA
We take confidentiality very seriously at Language People. We have processes and procedures in place to make sure that your business information and your client’s personal information is treated confidentially at all times. All Language People interpreters agree in writing to comply with HIPAA confidentiality requirements. We encourage our clients to make any in-house forms available to LANGUAGE PEOPLE to assure that our interpreters are aware of and in compliance with your policies.

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