An interpreter is just like any other professional who has mastered his or her field of study. Most have invested years of training and schooling to evolve their expertise in specific terminology such as healthcare, legal, or conference interpreting. These talented individuals are there to facilitate your communication between you and your desired audience. However, there are many ways you can help them perform at their full potential to meet your needs. The following is a useful guide to help you through the process of working with an interpreter more effectively.
As a rule of thumb, it’s always important to first introduce yourself and give the interpreter a rundown of what you expect in the meeting. You are welcome to provide supporting documents such as visual aids or written text well in advance to help them better grasp what you’re trying to communicate to your listener(s). If you’re using an interpreter for a one-on-one conversation or between a few people, advice the interpreter of your audience’s name(s) and title or status so they can address them accordingly. Let your interpreter know they’re more than welcome to ask questions if clarification is needed. No matter how extended the interpreter’s experience may be, or how well-prepared they are, there is always the possibility of being unacquainted with a new term, phrase or concept. You can also use this time to agree with the interpreter on how long your pause intervals should be.
For larger-scale interpreting, an agenda or schedule for each presentation/speech would be helpful to discuss beforehand. Even reports or talks from previous meetings can help an interpreter be better acquainted with the event and what it’s all about. The more deeply they understand the message, the better they will be able to convey it in the desired foreign language.
complete thought so the interpreter gets a chance to deliver the message in the appropriate tone and correct timing.
When speaking to your client or audience, speak in the first person and speak directly to them, as if the interpreter is not there at all; this helps you maintain a connection with your listener. If you must ask your client any questions, ask them one at a time to give the listener appropriate time to respond without getting flustered by multiple questions.
After you’re done communicating your part, kindly ask your client to reaffirm your message to make sure it was grasped correctly. Misunderstanding can be avoided by keeping yourself from using idioms or jargons that may not be at your client’s level of understanding.
Interpreters are using their maximum concentration levels to be able to interpret as accurately as possible. If the meeting goes over an hour, give both the interpreter and the listener time to rest, get a drink, or go to the bathroom, for at least 5-10 minutes. Lastly, both you and your interpreter must stay attuned to your cultural awareness and sensitivity, to guarantee your client a pleasant consultation or interview.
Our interpreters take pride in helping people communicate with each other. We hope these tips help you become more comfortable with our services as we try our best to serve your needs. If you have any questions, give us a call or send us a message in the box at the bottom right corner of this page. Have an amazing week!