Useful Tips when Working with an Interpreter

Posted by Audrey Dubois-Boutet on April 06, 2010

Ever experience a difficult discussion with someone through an interpreter? Here are a few tips to help your next conversation run smoother.

  1. Introduce yourself to the interpreter – offer an overview of the meeting/conversation. At this time, provide the interpreter with copies of any documents you will be referencing.
  2. Use “I” and “you” – speak directly to your audience as if the interpreter was not there.
  3. Speak naturally – do not rush. The interpreter will ask you to clarify or repeat certain words and sentences if necessary.
  4. Allow for additional time – conversations will take longer; therefore keep this in mind when scheduling.
  5. Avoid humor if possible – sometimes humor doesn’t translate well in different cultures. Consult the interpreter first to see if it will translate properly.
  6. Avoid private conversations – interpreters are trained to interpret everything that is being said during the appointment.
  7. Ensure your audience understands – be sure that your message is accurately received. Remember, nodding does not always mean comprehension.

We’ll gladly assist with any interpretation questions you may have. Contact us today or visit our interpreting services info page!

Topics: Interpretation