Consecutive Interpreting Trumps Simultaneous Interpreting In Legal Translations

Document translation services are always catered to using consecutive interpreting. Simultaneous interpreting is not applicable because the document is already authored, thereby signaling that the event or correspondence is over. In legal translations, simultaneous interpreting has very little scope and is almost impossible in most circumstances. Document translation services are always catered to using consecutive interpreting. Simultaneous interpreting is not applicable because the document is already authored, thereby signaling that the event or correspondence is over. In legal translations, simultaneous interpreting has very little scope and is almost impossible in most circumstances.

Most translators and linguists agree that simultaneous interpreting is itself a misnomer, a wrong classification. A bilingual or multilingual professional will not be able to translate every word in real time. One has to wait till the end of the sentence or at least till the speaker pauses after a few words or phrases to compile what has been said, to understand and then to translate it to the required language. In contrast, consecutive interpreting happens after the speaker has delivered the speech or finished the talk. In a way, simultaneous interpreting considers fragments at a time while consecutive interpreting takes the whole content, uses notes and then translates in its entirety.

Document translation services and legal translations rely heavily and almost entirely on consecutive interpreting. It clearly trumps simultaneous interpreting for many reasons.

- The first reason is obvious, convenience. Legal notes are still taken in shorthand in many parts of the world. There can be audio and even video recordings of the proceedings but shorthand does account for the immediate legal transcription or documentation of the proceedings. These notes are then used to draft the legal document. Then one would use document translation services to have the legal transcript in a desired language. This entire process is complex and cannot be done in real time using simultaneous interpreting. That is while letting aside the fact that simultaneous interpreting is still not stringently a real time operation.

- The second reason why consecutive interpreting is the only option for legal translations or legal document translation services is the linguistic complexity of what is said or conveyed. Law in most countries is heavily rooted in nativity and inspiration. The native language, culture and colloquialism including social and cultural realities have played the role in chalking the realm of law. Inspiration from other cultures and languages has also influenced the terms, their use and implications. This has complicated translation. A standard legal document could very well be in English with a generous dose of Latin terms or Latin origin terms, Arabic phrases and French legal jargon. Legal translations or legal document translation services thus must be true to the meaning and implication of such terms to have an authentic translated text. That can only happen with consecutive interpreting.


By: Kirti Vagadia

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Submitted On Jan 03, 2017. Viewed 64 times.

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HL TRAD has been in the business of offering financial and legal translation services for 10 years now. It has more than 3,000 translators that work for the company and offices can be found throughout Europe. You can count on HL TRAD for translation of more than 100 different languages. for more information visit legal translations, Consecutive interpreting.

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