Working with Interpreters…

1.       Information

When you book your interpreter, try to provide as much information as possible about the nature of the appointment. This enables the interpreter to check the terminology prior to the appointment. It is also a good idea to have a short briefing just before the appointment commences so that you can inform the interpreter of any relevant details.

2.      Clarity

We may think that we speak clearly and that it is easy for others to understand us, but there are many different accents and speech styles. Speak clearly, form clear questions and avoid ambiguity to enable the interpreter to guarantee the accurate transfer of meaning and to ensure that communication does not break down.

3.      Address your client

Make sure you look at and address your client directly, using “I” and “You”. Your interpreter will maintain these forms of address, interpreting everything that is said between the parties objectively, exactly as they hear it.

4.      Notes

It is common practice for interpreters to take notes while listening, in order to ensure total recall when relaying messages. The interpreter is aware that all information disclosed during the appointment is confidential. All notes should be destroyed after the appointment has taken place.

5. Environment

Make sure that the interpreter can see everybody’s face and can hear. Background noise makes their job especially difficult. If the interpreter is delivering simultaneous whispered interpreting (when they listen in one language and speak in another all at once), try to leave a short catch-up pause every couple of sentences. If the interpreter is delivering consecutive interpreting (when they listen and take notes while one party speaks and then pass the message on in the other language, before the other party replies), finish the thought before you stop to allow the relay. Please allow the interpreter to complete the interpretation of teach speech by the client, as vital information or a key phrase may be at the end.

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