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What to Look for When Choosing an Interpreter

When hiring an interpreter, you do not utilize the first interpreter you encounter. It is vital to understand your needs so you can find the best interpreter to fit your requirements. Many interpreters have their specializations, meaning, they are experts in different subjects. The process of finding the most qualified interpreter is like looking for any service provider. You want someone with experience, certification, subject expertise, and professional demeanor.

How to choose an interpreter

As businesses continue to operate in the global market, proper communication is critical. There’s a good chance that they speak different languages if you deal with people from different cultures. To improve your brand image, hiring professional interpretation services is essential. Moreover, it will promote a closer relationship and cultural exchange with your clients.
Here are some of the things you should look for when choosing an interpreter:

  • The interpreter must be a good listener since the person can comprehend the requirements quickly. The interpretation process will be smoother if the interpreter picks up the needs of the client immediately.
  • Certification is essential. Look for an interpreter with a certificate from a recognized organization or institution. It is your assurance that the interpreter has the right qualification and certification to perform their job accurately and clearly.
  • Knowledgeable and fluent. An excellent interpreter should be fluent in the language pair because their time to translate the message from one language into another is limited. Aside from language fluency, the interpreter’s grammar skills and vocabulary should be excellent. Interpreters should not rely only on the information given to them before the project. They should be well-read and up to date on industry and global news.
  • Choose an interpreter who is proficient in research. It is a given that an interpreter’s linguistic skill should be excellent. But aside from that, researching and knowing about the local lifestyle and culture of the people speaking the target language helps make the interpreter more effective. Further, finding more relevant information about a project’s topic or theme helps smoothen the interpreting process.
  • Strictly abides with the code of ethics. All professional interpreters follow a code of ethics. Moreover, you should check how they handle privacy and confidentiality issues.
  • Depending on your needs, you should find an interpreter with relevant experience to handle your interpretation project. As mentioned, some interpreters have specializations, so find the most suitable one. Be sure to specify if you need an interpreter for project coordination, court hearing, business meeting, healthcare, conference, or seminar.
  • Choose one who is inquisitive. You’ll know that you are talking to a competent interpreter when the person asks questions relevant to the project.
  • Find an interpreter with a good reputation. When interviewing a language services provider or the interpreter, always ask for references. If previous clients are satisfied with their service, you are assured that they are excellent at their jobs.

When choosing an interpreter, consider someone with knowledge, technological know-how and expertise.

Knowledge of the subject matter

Interpreters are hired to provide service in different settings. Some interpreters specialize in simultaneous or consecutive interpreting, which is often in large events. Some interpreters are used to smaller setups, such as HR interviews, media interviews, or business meetings. Interpreters may work face-to-face, over the phone, or through remote video interpreting.

Interpreters typically have experience in different fields. Those with healthcare and medical expertise handle medical interpreting. Some have backgrounds in law and legal professions, while others come from business, IT, agriculture, manufacturing, military, insurance, marketing, education, broadcasting, travel and tourism, and other professions.

Their professional backgrounds help them understand industry-specific interpretation projects better. They know the terminology and have the required experience to understand the topic’s complexity, making it easier for them to translate the information and messages the speaker gives.

Public speaking skills of interpreters

Interpreters for workshops, symposia, and conferences are in soundproof booths while on the job. They should deliver the messages clearly and accurately to the intended listeners.
Therefore, interpreters should possess some public speaking skills to make them more productive and better at their job.

  • Background information about the topics for discussion, copies of speeches, and biographies of the speakers are some of the information clients provide to interpreters. They use the information to learn about the theme of the event and the people who will be attending the conference.
  • Just like the presenters, interpreters should prepare for the job. They should know how large that audience is and the make up of the participants, such as nationalities, professions, and ages. Likewise, they should see the venue: whether it is going to be a conference hall, an office, or a small room. Interpreters should also know the layout of the place.
  • Interpreters should have voice training, as lower register makes the listeners feel comfortable and confident. They understand phasing as well because listeners must understand the information they are receiving.
  • Public speakers know how to use their voices for a more significant effect. Usually, they have to speak loudly, but they should not shout. Lowering their voice can also be used to captivate the audience. In order to capture the attention of listeners, interpreters are trained to emulate the way the speaker delivers the speech.

The remarkable brain of interpreters

Do you know what is impressive about interpreters? Interpreters are remarkable individuals who have excellent memorization skills. They are not born with this skill. It takes hours of study and training for them to improve their short-term memory.

Professional interpreters usually have years of experience behind them before they can handle simultaneous or consecutive interpreting. Machines are not capable of real-time interpreting, a feat the human interpreters can do with ease and remarkable accuracy.

You can see this extraordinary memorization skill during simultaneous interpreting. When a delegate starts speaking, the interpreter begins to understand the message in one language and simultaneously constructs and articulates the same information in the target language.

It may look easy, but the process mixes cognitive, motor, and sensory skills operating concurrently. The process is continuous, while the interpreter does their job in real-time without pause, until the speaker stops. The interpreter usually does not clarify something or even ask the speaker to slow down.

Call eTranslation Services for any interpretation project

When you need a professional interpreter, you only have to remember one name – eTranslation Services. Our network of certified, native-speaking interpreters can help you with your specific interpreting needs. We are ready to meet your needs if you require conference interpreters, medical interpreters, legal interpreters, technical interpreters, or others. It is easy to get in touch with us: via email at [email protected] or by phone through (800) 882 6058. Contact ETS now.


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