We are specialized in court interpreting since 2008 in South Africa. And most frequently used for large conferences or meetings, simultaneous interpreting requires the linguist to "translate" what the speaker is saying as they speak. Thus, the interpreter is both listening and speaking at the same time. This takes intense concentration; simultaneous interpreters often work in teams, taking breaks every 30 minutes or so. Simultaneous interpreting generally requires equipment such as microphones, headsets, and in some instances, booths.
Another form of consecutive interpreting is often called escort interpreting. If you are hosting a delegation of visitors from another country, you may want to use an escort interpreter for meeting clients at the airport, tours and excursions. Escort interpreters generally translate informal conversations.
Consecutive interpreting is the most widely used type of on-site interpreting services and is most appropriate in smaller settings, such as training workshops, meetings, negotiations and technical seminars. During consecutive interpreting, the speaker speaks for a few minutes (a few paragraphs), then pauses. The interpreter takes notes and then orally conveys (translates) the speaker's message during the pause. The key element in consecutive interpreting is note taking: the interpreter must record ideas and then translate them back into the words of another language without pause.
Telephone interpreting (also called OPI or Over-the-Phone Interpretation) can be either simultaneous or consecutive. If the participants of a telephone call are content to hear only the voice of the interpreter, telephone interpreting can be conducted in a simultaneous mode; otherwise interpreting should be conducted consecutively. However, if the interpreter does not see the speakers and has no access to extra-linguistic clues to the speaker's meaning and context, the accuracy of simultaneous telephone interpreting tends to be significantly lower than for consecutive OPI.