How to Hire the Right Interpreter?

Due to globalization, there has been an increase in the demand for interpreters for a lot of situations related to business, academic, tourism or travel. When you need to communicate with people who speak different languages, you need the help of a talented interpreter to engage your audience and convey your message the way it is intended.

While a competent interpreter can convey your message accurately and in an appropriate manner to your audiences – an incompetent interpreter may change the meaning of your message resulting in poor interpretation and perhaps a lot of damage to your reputation. Now that is a risk you must never take. How do you decide which interpreter is right for you? Here are some aspects you need to determine before hiring the right interpreting services provider for your business.

What is Your Subject Matter and Languages?

Before hiring an interpreter you need to know your own requirements such as whether your topic is very technical or if your audience speaks a certain dialect of a particular language. Also does your speech include terms that are industry specific? Answering these questions will help you select an interpreter who is an expert in the language you require as well as the subject matter in question. This is quite important when it comes to subjects like legal, medical or technical manufacturing content where you can’t make errors in technicalities when interpreting.

Similarly, it is important to consider the language or languages you require interpretation in. Some interpreters can be qualified in your subject matter but not necessarily in the language you require. You probably want someone who excels at both.

What Do the Reviews Say?

If you have a large gathering like a conference for which you require interpreting services, then obviously you will look for a well-reputed interpreter. Selecting an interpreter who already has a large portfolio with a list of happy clients is something you should consider. You can also get in touch with some of the clients to know what they have to say about the interpreter. Hiring someone who comes with a lot of endorsements will boost your confidence in the interpreter and you will be more relaxed on the actual day of your business.

Do You Need Simultaneous or Consecutive Interpretation?

Just like there are subdivisions in each job, interpretation also has different types. Depending on your budget and event, you will either choose consecutive or simultaneous interpretation. Once you’ve decided which, then you can hire the suitable interpreter who will require certain equipment for the type of interpretation you choose.

Simultaneous interpreting services requires the interpreter to hear the message and deliver is through microphone connected to headsets of the audiences. In consecutive interpreting, the interpreter has to wait for the speaker to finish his sentence, before delivering the translation in the target language. There is no need for any equipment in the latter.

What are the Contract Terms?

It is important to define all terms in the contract with your interpreter when hiring one. Clearly stating your requirements, subject matter, language pairs, schedule, timeline, method of interpretation and pricing in the contract will guarantee there are no ambiguities left on either party’s side. Sometimes the interpreters have their own limitations e.g. not being able to come to a particular location or not being able to work at the time you need. So you need to clearly ask these questions before hiring an interpreter in order to avoid unforeseen surprises on the actual day.

Can You Meet The Interpreter for a Short Test?

Everything can look great on paper: the qualification of the interpreter, the reviews and prices. However, it is still smart to test the interpreter on your subject matter before you hire them. This will tell you a lot about the interpreter’s capabilities. Meeting the interpreter beforehand can also give you a chance to explain your subject matter and brief them on what you are going to discuss. This will prepare you and the interpreter for the actual day.

Bilingual audiences and situations can be overwhelming and a challenge for everyone involve. However, they also present a good opportunity for growth or to introduce your brand, product or service and expand your network. By hiring the right interpreter you will be able to ensure that you professional message is being conveyed the way you intended it to.