LIAISON INTERPRETATION AND SIGHT TRANSLATION

Live meeting interpretation

When a small meeting (up to around twenty people), a guided workshop tour, or a smaller group needs interpretation and when there are no more than two languages to be interpreted - generally only one - one or two liaison interpreters can be called upon. In that case, the interpreter translates into both languages by participating directly in the meeting, to ensure its good progress, in close contact with the session's manager. Normally the interpretation service even continues during the reception or lunch.

It often turns out to be necessary, in this kind of meeting, to proceed on the spot to an oral translation of a document. The interpreter will thus quickly do what is called a sight translation by "reading" the text written in the source language directly into the target language. For text of more than 1,000 words (about 100 lines), a pre-translation is necessary.
Let us note that the liaison interpreter occupies center and important stage in the meeting, since his/her translation has to "cover" the interpretation into one language just as well as into the other.

In this case, s/he becomes the session's president's true right-hand wo/man and also participates in the drafting of the minutes of the meeting.
Let us note however, that for this task - and especially - for written translations, the intervention of writers/translators is essential. In effect, the written language always requires a formal perfection or a definitive univocity specific to writing (scripta manent!).

While it is asked of the interpreter to instantly memorize and quickly reproduce the meaning of the speech, his/her colleague the translator only communicates in written language, to which he always plays humble servant, incognito.
Despite their formal and apparent affinities, it could then be said that the former must have the reflexes and the efficiency of a squash player and the latter must work with the finality and elegance of an instrument maker who manages his time well (the equivalent of 20 or 30 times that required for an interpretation!).