Journalism and Interpretation


One of the key aspects that’s imperative to take into account when traveling around the world are the language barriers that one is faced with.  For instance, many journalists have taken advantage of traveling to various parts of the world for their job.  Nevertheless, the second they have to interview subjects who speak a language they don’t understand they can’t simply rely on their own skills of observation, interviewing and listening. They’re left to rely on an interpreter.

An interpreter is not necessarily the same thing as a translator. A translator translates written work. Interpreters translate spoken communications, such as speeches, presentations, conversations, meetings, and interviews. Interpreters come in two general categories: simultaneous and consecutive.

Consecutive interpreters are the most common type used by journalists in interviews, and their services are much less expensive than those of simultaneous interpreters. When using a consecutive interpreter, the speaker (or interviewer/interviewee) pauses after each phrase or sentence to allow the interpreter to relay the message in the target language. This is more often used in small groups or one-on-one interviews.

When using an interpreter, keep in mind that you will not be able to conduct a quick interview. Journalists face many challenges mainly because working with an interpreter is a challenge any time you’re reporting in a country with a primary language you don’t speak. When you’re working with a consecutive interpreter, the interview always takes at least twice as much time—there are two sets of questions and two sets of answers.

As we can see when conducting interviews, journalists mainly use two types of interpretation services, however these are not the only type of interpretation services that are available.  Please feel free to read more about the types of Interpretation services and to request a free quote for your interpretation services.