KGH Interpretation Spanish-English Medical & Mental Health Interpretation

What is the difference between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation?

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Consecutive interpretation is the preferred mode of interpretation in most healthcare settings. It involves the interpreter listening to, and often taking notes during, an utterance, then interpreting what was said. Utterances should be kept to a maximum of a few sentences. This gives the interpreter an opportunity to process what is being said and render an accurate and complete interpretation.

Simultaneous interpretation is the preferred mode of interpretation most often in legal and conference settings, but is the preferred mode of interpretation in emergency medical situations and in many mental health settings. It involves the interpreter to interpret out loud over the speaker, utilizing a delay to allow for the processing of the utterance. It is often a less accurate form of interpretation, but allows for uninterrupted utterances and faster interpreting.

A regular follow-up visit to a doctor’s office would require consecutive interpretation to optimize accuracy, whereas a patient being rushed to the emergency room for a life-threatening condition may require simultaneous interpretation if time is of the essence. In addition, mental health environments usually require a combination of these two modes depending upon the nature of the assignment.

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About the author

Kelly (Grzech) Henriquez

Kelly is a Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI-Spanish) through the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). She works as an independent contractor in the greater Richmond, Virginia area as a Spanish-English medical interpreter and also specializes in mental health interpretation.

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KGH Interpretation Spanish-English Medical & Mental Health Interpretation

Kelly (Grzech) Henriquez

I am a Certified Medical/Healthcare Interpreter (CMI-Spanish, CHI-Spanish) and a medical interpreter trainer. I work as an independent contractor in the greater Richmond, Virginia area as a Spanish-English medical interpreter. Click here to read more about me.

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