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I ever took some consecutive interpreting training, esp. the note-taking skills, now I aim to take the simultaneous interpreting training. I wonder whether I shall do some consecutive interpreting training first as warm-up.

So,1) what is the actual relationship between these two types of interpreting? 2) does the note-taking in first type facilitate the ability/ quality adopted/ required in the latter one? Thanks.

asked 18 Aug '12, 02:13

Paris%20Si%20de%20Chine's gravatar image

Paris Si de ...

edited 18 Aug '12, 06:25

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Hi Paris Si,

There's part of an answer to this question here...

"Many interpreting schools, including some of the best in the world, teach consecutive first and then simultaneous, often a year of consec first. And that has been the case for many years. It would appear a good idea to learn the analytical and presentation skills required for consecutive first and then move on to simultaneous but to my knowledge there isn't actually any empirical evidence to suggest that this approach is better than learning both at the same time. Many good interpreters have come out of schools that start simultaneous interpreting at the same time, or very quickly, after the start of the course."


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answered 19 Aug '12, 04:32

Andy's gravatar image


edited 19 Aug '12, 04:34

Yes, Andrew, thanks for your answer. As for the sequence between the two modes , there are traditional and individual ways to handle; all depends, while not necessarily on their relationship. One may have a personal opinion about it after taking one way of doing it. Thanks again. :-)

(19 Aug '12, 05:08) Paris Si de ...

...conference consecutive interpreting other than being an interpreting mode in its own right and one which in the right circumstances is a 1st choice as opposed to second best vis-à-vis simultaneous, has the cardinal virtue of "forcing" speech-analysis... and inasmuch as one never interprets so well as when one understands what one's interpreting (mind you, comprehension understanding, not necessarily at execution or even less critique levels) the pedagogical benefits for simultaneous (or any other mode) are obvious... and you'll find ample references thereto in the literature.

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answered 18 Aug '12, 06:45

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edited 18 Aug '12, 06:45


Hi, Mr MSR, thanks for your kind answer. I understand your point as the following: 1) consecutive interpreting is the best interpreting mode in right situation because one interprets based on understanding; 2) simultaneous interpreting comes in second place, because it is featured with "forcing" it is never an easy task to interpret as satisfactory as possible.3) training for sim interpreting cannot be neglected, because the two types are so different. Am I right?

After reading your answer/trying to figure out, I feel I have a lot of work to do to improve my English reading ability. Anyway, I will keep moving. thanks again.

(18 Aug '12, 09:19) Paris Si de ...

:-) I may well have been less than crystal clear - have been known to in the past ;-) - so here it goes again:

  • consec. isn't just a stepping stone to sim., it's a mode in its own right and in the right circumstances a 1st choice, not a 2nd best

  • it ALSO is a stepping stone to sim., because consec. is unfeasible without discourse analysis (ie extracting meaning from strings of words)... which is anyway always a good thing :-) and essential to understanding

  • inasmuch as one never interprets better than when one understands, it therefore follows that consec. training should indeed preceed sim. and the latter benefits from the former.

(18 Aug '12, 09:58) msr

Hi, MSR. thanks for your patience and detailed explanation. I got it, understanding is the basis for both types of interpreting, either consecutive or simultaneous. :-)

(18 Aug '12, 20:04) Paris Si de ...

Consec definitely helps analytical skills. Teaching consec as prep for simul has always been done in Europe, however, I personally think it is not much help. The mechanisms are too different. What is important to learn first in simul is source text segmentation and semantic analysis of a continuous flow of information. Information can be rearrahged n consec so much more than in simul and it gives simul a very different flavor. However, I am making a disclaimer that it is a minority opinion.

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answered 06 Oct '13, 20:59

Cyril%20Flerov's gravatar image

Cyril Flerov

edited 06 Oct '13, 20:59

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question asked: 18 Aug '12, 02:13

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