In a increasingly multicultural world, interpretation in different languages is a critical element. But how to find a good interpreter and guarantee a quality service when you are not an expert? Here are our 5 tips for a successful interpretation.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS
There are several types of Chinese interpretation: liaison, consecutive and simultaneous. Before you jump in requests for quotes, it is necessary to identify your needs: is the conference open to the general public, a factory visit, a meeting of 2-3 people? What will be the languages of the speakers? And who are the potential audience? How many people will attend? At what kind of place is it going to happen? Indoors or outdoors? These questions will indicate what type of interpreter you need.
2. CALL IN THE PROS
In the field of professional interpretation, as in that of translation, it is strongly recommended to hire professionals. Why ? Because interpretation is a real job, which is not improvised. It calls for special skills and requires good preparation beforehand. It is also a challenging exercise that requires great concentration.
It would be against-productivity to ask one of your employees who speak some Chinese, for example, to take on the role of a Chinese interpreter over a business meeting. Despite his/her skills, he/she will struggle to hold over time and commit even in the worst case, errors. Hiring a professional interpreter ensures smooth communication and a good image of your company.
3. PROVIDE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT
Depending on the type of interpretation, you will surely have to rent some specific materials. Do not assume that it is taken care of by the interpreter, it is up to you to take care of! Some Chinese translation agencies, such as YBD, offer quotes with the hardware costs included, so you don’t have to do the heavy burden of seeking hardware. Warning: do not overlook the equipment in order to save money. It is essential for simultaneous interpretation, sometimes also for whispering (booths, microphones, sound system …).
4. DECIDE ON THE RIGHT NUMBER OF INTERPRETERS
Your conference will last a full day and you scheduled an interpreter and you think this will be enough? You will find that the conference interpretation will be hard to proceed, it is necessary to provide a team of at least two interpreters to collaborate with each other.
If your event is multilingual and a language considered ‘rare’ is one of the languages to translate, it even happens that we should think of a “pivot” interpreter will relay other interpreters.
For example, if the speaker speaks Pashto and you have no Pashtun-French interpreter on hand, you will have to go through a Pashto-English interpreter, and another French-English. So it changes the number of interpreters to predict. Project managers and experienced professional interpreters from a professional translation company with whom you request quotes can advise you based on your project.
5. PROVIDE MAXIMUM INFORMATION
This advice may seem trivial, but it is essential to ensure the smoothest possible communication. The more you give documents or information to the interpreters, the better the quality of the work. The interpreter will be better prepared if he knows particularly the theme of the event, who are the stakeholders that they will interpret, what is the work environment and how many colleagues will work with him. It would be better to have a bilingual terminology list. If stakeholders are planning to use media (videos, PowerPoint presentation or other), it may be useful to transmit to the interpreter before the big day, if possible.