Echo International highly recommends using professional services for your interpreting needs, as it reduces risk and gives you a greater assurance of quality.
The following document outlines specific tips to follow when engaging an interpreter. Whether you have utilized interpreting services many times or are a relative newcomer, these helpful tips and guidelines will give you valuable industry perspective and enhance your interpreting experience.
Before the Meeting
- Build trust with the interpreter.
- Inform the interpreter of the target and agenda and provide contextual information.
- Make sure you clarify his or her role and provide specific guidelines.
- Agree on the pace and pause intervals you will use during the meeting.
- Explain any significant technical concepts and important technical terms.
- Ask the interpreter to avoid any linguistic cultural misunderstandings, such as taboos and sensitive topics.
During the Meeting
- Allow the interpreter to introduce himself and explain his role.
- Avoid dialects and colloquialisms.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Enunciate.
- Maintain eye contact with your audience, not the interpreter.
- Always address your questions directly to the client.
- Allow the interpreter time to translate by taking one- or two-minute breaks.
- Use more than one interpreter for longer sessions or when simultaneous interpreting is required.
- Allow each interpreter to take regular breaks and do not expect him or her to interpret during these breaks.
After the Meeting
- Coordinate with the interpreter to ensure that agreements or contracts are completed in written form.
- Review the meeting with the interpreter, clarify uncertain issues, and write a short report.
- Ask for his or her informal opinions as a cultural mediator.