How will your interpreters work with you to get your point across?

  • It helps to see your interpreters as your business partners and fellow interlocutors. The more they know about the purpose and background of your meetings, the better equipped they are to navigate your message through the white waters of linguistic and cultural differences. Professional interpreters' code of ethics is your guarantee that any information your interpreter became privy to during a meeting will remain strictly confidential.
  • You will surely have done your homework before your meeting. Let your interpreters do the same. If you are planning to use written documents or read statements, let your interpreters have them in advance. Any other background information, such as minutes of previous meetings, books of proceedings from previous conferences, or general information about your industry is always welcome and helpful. Ensure that you get the best service possible – share background knowledge with your interpreter.
  • Good consecutive interpreters take notes as you speak, and can interpret long sequences (up to 10 minutes). However, even the best interpreter can get overwhelmed by a long list of numbers, abbreviations and names delivered at top speed, and your audience's patience will be tested if you speak for 10 minutes before you let the interpreter step in. Stick to the middle of the road: your best bet is to finish a thought, and give yourself time to prepare for the next bit while the interpreter renders it in your audience's language.
  • If you are using simultaneous interpretation, bear in mind that a rushed delivery makes it difficult to follow for your listeners and adjust your pace
  • Always let your interpreter see whatever your audience sees, hear whatever your audience hears, and read whatever you are reading out.
  • Do not hesitate to ask your interpreter about topics, gestures and attitudes that may be considered inappropriate by your target audience.
  • Additional tips on working with interpreters can be found, for example, on the website of the Joint Interpreting and Conference Service of the European Union or the International Association of Conference Interpreters