The success of an interpreting session not only rests on the effort of the interpreter. People with little experience working with interpreters sometimes would make some mistakes, which may cause misunderstanding and thus compromise the quality of interpretation. Following are some tips for you to have a successful and pleasant interpreting session:
Speak with your interpreter at least a day ahead of the interpreting session
Though this is not required, we always recommend that people talk with the interpreter a day before the session. Give your interpreter a brief overview of your event, and if some complex terminologies or concepts are involved, the interpreter can have time to get familiar with those terminologies or concepts before the event.
Avoid using informal expressions
If the interpreter is not from your community or your language is not the interpreter’s native language, there’s a chance that the interpreter may not understand slangs or acronyms you may use with your friends. Make sure to use the formal wording and expression during the session.
If there are some words you think the interpreter may not understand, such as terminologies covered in the conversation, make sure to tell the interpreter in advance so he or she can have some time for preparation.
Pause when necessary
It’s understandable that sometimes you may want to speak fast especially when it’s an intensive day. However, when you speak too fast, some of your points may get dropped, and the interpreter may not have adequate time to express all your points to the other party. You should pause from time to time so that the interpreter can fully understand you and convey all your points to the other party. If you believe some complicated and elusive discussion is involved in the conversation, you should pause more frequently and give your interpreter the opportunity to ask for clarification.
Recognize cultural differences
Most of the time what stands between you and the other party is not only the language barrier but also the culture difference. It happens the other party cannot get what you are saying even the interpreter makes no mistake during the session. You may either alter your expression, write it down, or even bypass the topic if necessary.
Speak directly to the other participants instead of the interpreter
An error many people who haven’t worked with any interpreter before would often make is that they would speak directly to the interpreter instead of the other party during the session. Keep in mind that even you speak different languages, you are having a conversation with the other party, not the interpreter. Facial expression and body language are also important to make the other party feel that they are respected, and their words are valued in the event.
Use simple language
Every language has a different set of sentence structure. If you use a complicated and long sentence, it may be hard for the interpreter to understand and convert it into another language in a very short amount of time. Moreover, if the sentence is long, there’s a chance that some points may get lost during the interpretation. A simple subject + verb + object sentence would make the interpreter’s work much easier, and it would be less likely to run the risk of losing your points during the conversation.
Give interpreter a break if the session is long
Even the most experienced interpreters would get tired after hours of interpreting, and the quality of interpretation may be compromised. To avoid this, make sure to give your interpreter a break every hour if your event is expected to last more than two hours. If your event is long and involves intensive discussion, you may need multiple interpreters, so it wouldn’t be overwhelming for any of them.
Choose qualified interpreter
Many factors would decide whether the interpretation would be effective and satisfying for all participants in the session: the interpreter’s fluency of the languages, interpreting skills, knowledge of both cultures, experience in the relevant field, etc. If the interpreter doesn’t have any one of these qualities and skills, the quality of interpretation may be compromised. Working with a qualified and experienced interpreter would always be a sensible choice if you don’t want any of your points to get lost during the interpretation. At Alliance Business Solutions, we have a group of qualified and professional interpreters, and we will assign experienced interpreters based on your needs and the type of your project.