What to Consider when Hiring an Interpreter

May 10, 2017 Marina Cavallera

Globalization has caused an increased need for translators and interpreters for many situations ranging from business and academic conferences to travel and tourism events. When you need to communicate in any situation, it is important to focus on certain aspects to make the most of the experience for you and for the audience. An excellent interpreter can convey your message in an appropriate way to your audiences, but an incorrect or poor interpretation can damage your brand’s reputation and fail to convey your message.

In this blog, I will cover some of the most important aspects to consider when hiring an interpreter.

Specify Your Subject Matter

Is your topic highly technical? Does your audience speak a certain dialect? Are the terms you will be using industry-specific? These are just a few of the questions your team should be able to answer before you begin looking for an interpreter.

It is important to select an interpreter who is not only an expert in the language and locale, but also the subject matter and industry. This is especially important for highly technical subjects, like medical, legal and manufacturing content. Knowing what type of translator you are looking for will help you select the right person and make any necessary arrangements before the event.

Consecutive or Simultaneous?

Depending on your event and budget, you will need to arrange a method of interpreting: simultaneous or consecutive. This will also determine if your interpreter will require equipment, like headsets.

  • Simultaneous interpreting: the interpreter hears the message and delivers it through a microphone connected to other headsets, which allows the audience to hear the message in their own language, simultaneously.

  • Consecutive interpreting: after the speaker finishes a sentence, the interpreter delivers it in the requested language. No equipment is required for this.

Be Clear on the Contract Terms

Clearly state the requirements you need from your interpreter. Define your subject matter, language pairs, timeline and schedule, interpretation method and pricing terms. Have all of this information in writing and agreed upon by both parties. Maintain clear communication channels with your interpreter leading up to the event and after the event to discuss how the interpretation went.

Make Interpreters Part of Your Team

Plan to meet your interpretation team in advance. This will help you make sure the team is proficient in the language combination and subject matter and it will allow you to brief them on the topics, methods and share or discuss reference materials.

Summary

Bilingual environments can be a great challenge for everyone involved. But they also present the opportunity to introduce a new product, share the results of research or expand your brand recognition to larger global audiences. By selecting the right interpreter, you will be able to ensure your approach is professional and your message is being effectively and appropriately conveyed.

Further Resources from GPI

You may gain further insight into global e-business, global SEO and website translation and country specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:

Please feel free to contact GPI at info@globalizationpartners.com with any questions about our translation services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs. 

About the Author

Marina Cavallera

Localization Project Manager. Marina is a native Spanish speaker from Rosario, Argentina with over 15 years’ experience as a certified English-Spanish translator and interpreter. She graduated with a dual degree in Technical-Scientific and Literary Translation and Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreting from the Instituto de Educación Superior Olga Cossettini in Rosario. She has extensive experience with most well known CAT tools including the range of SDL tools such as SDL Trados Studio, MultiTerm, Wordfast, SDL Idiom WorldServer, Translation Workspace, XBench, etc. She has also served as a CAT Tool Instructor conducting an average of 50 courses and workshops for many associations, private institutes and conferences. Over the years she has provided Spanish language translation and interpreting for a multitude of translation agencies, Global Fortune 500 companies, Governments and NGO’s. When not working she enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and movies with her family.

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