Ten Golden Rules When Working With Interpreters
- Book well ahead. Do not expect an interpreter to be available at a day’s notice. Good interpreters are much in demand.
- Brief your interpreter in advance on the subject of the conference.
- If your work is of a highly technical nature, brief your interpreter on any specific terms, especially acronyms and abbreviations. A good interpreter can handle any type of meeting provided he or she is properly briefed.
- Fully inform your interpreter in advance on what you expect of him or her. Dinner engagements and visiting the theatre may be relaxation for you – but remember, it is extra work for the interpreter.
- The interpreter might well be your client's chief point of contact. Make sure you hire a professional.
- Interpreters are business travellers too. Be prepared to provide the same standards of travel, hotels and restaurants as you would expect to use yourself.
- Interpreters have to concentrate all the time while you have breaks between asking questions and receiving answers. If you feel exhausted after a hard day, imagine how the interpreter must feel.
- Be honest about your own language abilities. If you keep interrupting the interpreter, he or she will feel undermined and confused.
- If you are not prepared to trust an interpreter with confidential information – don't use one. Your guarantee of strict confidentiality is to hire a member of the professional body.
- Don't skimp. Employ the best professional as you would an accountant or legal adviser. It could mean the difference between clinching a successful conference or business contract deal and going home empty handed!
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