What can you expect when working with a professional interpreter?

  • 04/03/2019
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  • Admin

For people who want to work with a professional interpreter, it can be overwhelming knowing who to turn to as there are so many options available. Speaking from experience, we at Vandu know what you should look for in a reputable agency and can help you to find a professional interpreter that’s right for you. 

In this post, we’ll be helping you get to know more about our interpreters, the work that they do, and why their skills are so important.

How we do it at Vandu

There are many interpreting and translation agencies out there, so you may wonder what’s different about our team at Vandu? While many agencies are service providers, we want our clients to feel like our interpreters and translators are actually a part of their team. Our highly qualified interpreters take the time to get to know our client’s business, their specific needs, and give 100% to each project.

At Vandu, it has always been our priority to invest in our people and give them the specific training they need so they can deliver for our clients. That’s why we regularly run workshops for our interpreters to communicate our values and help them develop their skills and confidence. By doing this, we support our local communities by offering a much-needed service and we create meaningful employment for multi-lingual people from diverse backgrounds.

What are the qualities of a good interpreter?

We see the role of the interpreter as having three main functions. Every interpreter should be:

  • A Conduit (Our interpreters relay information accurately between the individuals who need language assistance and service providers for example)
  • Clarifier (Our interpreters provide a safe space for questions to be asked and details to be fully checked)
  • Culture broker (Our interpreters are aware of possible misunderstandings that can come up due to cultural differences)

Each of our interpreters are also trained to manage situations with care, empathy, and demonstrate qualities such as:

  • Being an extremely good listener
  • Having strong cultural awareness
  • Displaying emotional resilience
  • Staying calm under pressure 

The role of an interpreter is varied and requires more than just fluency in a range of languages and subject matter expertise. Professional interpreters open doors for people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to get the information they need or the opportunity to express themselves and be understood fully. 

What are the advantages of using a professional interpreter

There are several benefits of using a professional interpreter when compared with automated translation services like Google Translate or people who are bilingual but aren’t trained professionals. Just a few of these include:

  • Accuracy of interpreting and accountability
  • Subject matter knowledge on a range of topics (Medical interpreting, educational interpreting, or legal interpreting to name just a few)
  • Impartiality
  • Confidentiality
  • Minimized legal risks (due to misinterpretation)

Meet Sabah

Sabah Kaiser is one of our interpreters who has been working with us for 10 years and she speaks an impressive 8 languages! She’s not only an interpreter but a language ambassador for Vandu who aims to raise awareness about language as a barrier for ethnic minorities. We asked her to share her thoughts on the importance of professional interpreters and the type of work they do.

Why are interpreters important?

“Professional interpreters are essential because they enhance communication and convey information accurately from one language to another. They’re crucial to ensure people with little or no spoken English can access services and receive an appropriate standard of care or services. Thus, improving a client’s health and social standing.”

How is an interpreter different from a bilingual advocate for example? 

“The interpreter strives to maintain impartiality and refrains from counselling, advising, or projecting personal biases or beliefs. This ethical principle intends to ensure the communication and relationship between the client and the provider remain at the centre of the service encounter.”

What are some of the issues faced by interpreters? 

“There are sometimes really challenging situations that pose safeguarding concerns for women and girls in particular. For example, there may be significant cultural or religious restrictions where significant barriers are placed on females. A public sector professional may not necessarily be aware of these barriers, so it’s vital to have a professional interpreter to bridge that gap in language and cultural knowledge.” 

Contact us

If you’re considering using a professional interpreter, we hope we’ve given you some insights on what you can expect. Vandu Languages offers Sussex interpreting services with a team of fully qualified linguists who are ready to help you with your requests.

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