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Simultaneous and consecutive interpreting are the two basic types of interpretation. The third, less popular interpreting technique is often referred to as chuchotage (whispered interpretation). The basic difference between the first two is that simultaneous interpretation requires the use of special equipment, which implies hiring not only interpreters, but also sound technicians. Their task is to take care of the proper functioning of the equipment. The main advantage of simultaneous interpretation is the fact that it takes place almost in real time, since the time leg between the original speech and interpretation is barley noticeable. In this way, simultaneous interpretation does not have any impact on the duration of a particular event (various types of conferences , business meetings and so forth).

In consecutive interpretation, interpreter repeats the meaning in the target language only after the speaker has finished speaking, which can last from few seconds to several minutes. If speaking segments are too long, there is a danger the interpreter might forget or omit parts of the speech, which is why most interpreters relay on a special technique of taking notes. The main advantage compared to simultaneous interpretation is that no equipment is needed. However, opting for this type of interpretation can double the duration of an event, which is considered its greatest disadvantage.

Chuchotage is a special technique which establishes a compromise between simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. It is very similar to the simultaneous interpretation, though no equipment is necessary. It can be applied if there is only a very small group of people who need interpretation (in ideal case not more than three persons). The interpreter listens to the speaker without headphones and reproduces the meaning simultaneously in the form of a whispered translation. Whispering too loudly can be disruptive for the interpreter himself (he cannot hear the speaker any more), but also for the rest of the audience, who are listening to the original. On the other hand, it must be loud enough, so that those who depend on it can hear it. This is an additional factor which makes this kind of interpretation technique rather demanding.