4 Tips for working with interpreters

  • 04/03/2019
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  • Admin

You have spent months researching your target market, have developed a beautiful marketing plan replete with colourful brochures and now comes the time when you need to communicate directly with your customer.

Is your customer able to hold a conversation about the finer details of that contract?  How about the technical specifications? Can you be sure that everything you both need to discuss will be expressed, understood and agreed before you sign your names at the bottom of the page?

Engaging a professional interpreter will alleviate your worries. There are thousands of professionals versed in two or more languages that understand not only the subtleties of the spoken communication but can provide vital information with regard to cultural norms. Many are specialised in the terminology of specific industries such as pharmaceuticals, technology or construction.

Deciding whether to engage an interpreter could mean the difference between gaining the confidence of that important client and securing that lucrative deal or having them walk away confused by your meeting or presentation.

We have isolated four tips for those that are considering engaging with customers abroad, developing relationships with overseas partners or attempting to avoid cultural misunderstanding.

1. Meet with the interpreter ahead of any contact with your client to advise what it is you want to achieve. If there is terminology that is specific to your product or service, this can be identified in advance and make the meeting go more smoothly; the interpreter will then know how to render these terms for maximum efficiency.

2. The interpreter is a professional in their field, will have more than adequate qualifications to perform the task in hand and will draw on their life experience to represent your business in the best possible way. Utilise their knowledge to discover cultural norms, for example the all important first greeting.

3. Talk directly to the client. It may sound obvious but you will be surprised how often this fails to happen. Speak through the interpreter not to them. The interpreter should seat themselves in a way that all parties can hear what is being said without interfering. Before long you will barely notice them as the conversation flows.

4. Speak slightly more slowly and allow space in your sentences for the interpreter to convey your sentences more effectively. Other than that you should aim to speak in your usual register with your usual vocabulary.

To request an interpreter or find out more about the service, please contact our service team on 01273 473986


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