Language Interpreters – from court to conference to phone interpreters

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Language interpreters come in all shapes and sizes and also carry out interpreting in many different ways. Below we have provided a list of commonly used terms to describe interpreters and the work they do.


Ad hoc interpreting

Ad hoc interpreters are also know as consecutive interpreters or face-to-face interpreters. This is where a language interpreter will carry out translations of for people during meetings, court hearings, presentations or on site visits. What the interpreter does is listen to people speaking a few sentences, translate what has been said and then allow the speaker to continue.


Conference interpreting

Conference interpreters are arguably the most technically gifted and specialised of interpreters. You will conference interpreters working at major international conferences and organisations such as the U.N. or EU. Nicole Kidman made the role of a conference interpreter famous in her role as Silvia Broome in the 2005 film “The Interpreter”. These specialists listen to what is being said through headphones and then in parallel to listening translate the speech to others through a microphone. Such interpreting is mentally exhausting and therefore conference interpreters work in pairs.


Consecutive interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is the same as Ad Hoc interpreting above.


Court interpreting

Court interpreters are language specialists qualified to work in legal courts. They assist witnesses if they do not speak the language of the court. They generally work consecutively and are available in Europe and the UK through our court interpreter service.



Interpreting refers to the umbrella term to capture the jobs of anyone who provides assistance with oral translations. An interpreter needs to have excellent knowledge of their own native language and another foreign language. In recent years interpreters have had to become accredited in order to work.


Liaison interpreting

A liaison interpreter provides consecutive interpretation between two languages in both directions – similar to Ad Hoc and consecutive interpreting. Such an interpreter is usually someone that works in-house in a company and is responsible for looking after guests who do not speak to language.

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