However, interpreting services are not exclusively limited to business exchanges. They can also be used in many other situations: when someone must complete procedures at a police station or court but does not speak the local language, when going to a medical appointment abroad, at informal and formal meetings and at conferences where participants speak different languages, etc.

Depending on the context of this communication, different types of interpreting can meet the specific needs of each scenario.

Simultaneous interpreting is used for talks and conferences, but also when foreign celebrities are guests on television programmes. In this interpreting mode, interpreters sit in booths fitted with audio systems which allow them to listen to the speaker’s message, without being interrupted, and reproduce it in their mother tongue through a microphone whilst the speaker continues to talk.

Consecutive interpreting is ideal for any type of meeting. Here, interpreters take notes as the speaker talks and, when s/he finishes, they construct a complete speech that is faithful to the original words in the language of the other participants. A very clear example of this type of interpreting is found in press conferences, where an interpreter sits next to the speaker and respectively communicates the audience members’ questions and the interviewee’s answers.

In turn, in liaison interpreting, interpreters accompany individuals who need to be able to communicate with those around them. For example, this would be the case of a patient who goes to hospital in a place where s/he does not speak the local language. In this situation, the interpreter will act as a link between the patient and medical staff, allowing them to communicate without misunderstandings.

Lastly, chuchotage (whispered interpreting) is used in more informal contexts involving a small number of people. In this case, the speaker’s message is whispered by the interpreter to the client in his or her language, allowing for smooth communication between the participants in the conversation.

The type of interpreting used is conditioned by the communicative context in question.