In Consecutive Interpretation, the interpreter must wait for the original speaker to pause or finish speaking before interpreting the message in the desired language. The average speaker will speak for approximately 1 to 5 minutes before pausing or stopping. This means that consecutive interpreters often have to possess excellent memories, or utilize effective note-taking skills.
Although time isn't quite as much of a factor in Consecutive Interpreting as it is in Simultaneous Interpreting, time is still of the essence when in this mode of interpreting. In taking notes, it is common for Consecutive Interpreters to devise their own symbology to capture the meaning of the speaker's message. This way, there is no written translation occurring if the notes are taken in the original language.
The types of situations that Consecutive Interpreting is used are varied - everything from medical appointments to legal depositions to escort interpreting. Since the interpreting is of a larger portion of conversation, it is helpful for the interpreter to know as much as possible regarding the subject matter of the interpretation (whenever possible). This way, the interpreter can research basic terminologies in both languages, ensuring an effective flow of communication.