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LBC's Interpreting Service
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I'm not sure what kind of interpreter I need. Can you explain the difference between conference, business, liaison and ad hoc interpreting?

A: Conference interpreting is a demanding and highly specialized skill. Usually the interpreter sits in a special soundproof booth simultaneously interpreting the speaker's words into a microphone. This is then relayed to delegates over headsets. This form of interpreting is also known as simultaneous interpreting.

Liaison, business and ad hoc interpreting are more or less synonyms for interpreting in a business setting, e.g. during meetings with foreign partners or customers, contract negotiations, factory tours or the like. In these situations the interpreter usually waits for the speaker to pause before translating the words, so it is also known as consecutive interpreting.

There are also two specialized forms of consecutive interpreting, court interpreting (i.e. interpreting in a court of law), and community or public service interpreting (i.e. interpreting between immigrant community languages and English for the police, NHS or social services for example).

Q: how much can I expect to pay an interpreter?

A: Interpreting rates start at about £250 for an 8-hour day, plus expenses, again depending on the languages involved. Please note that it is not usually possible to provide an interpreter for less than half a day

Q: To what extent should I be briefing the interpreter?

A: It is essential to brief the interpreter as thoroughly as possible before any job. In addition to the languages involved, the subject-matter and length of text or duration of meeting, you should provide as much information as possible

If you have any questions that we haven't covered here, or would like additional information, please contact us

The Languages for Business Centre
e-mail info@languages-for-business.com  Tel ++44 (0) 845 459 8964 Mobile ++44 (0)7878 899 967