Working with an interpreter has become more and more commonplace in a world of increasing diversity. Globalization has made this a necessity in some cases and smart business people know this. However, do you know how to best optimize your use of interpreters? There are a few things clients can do to ensure that a session with an interpreter goes smoothly and offers the best results. These six tips will help you when working with an interpreter.

  • Brief the interpreter prior to the conversation: Familiarize the interpreter with the essential information he or she will need before they begin. Briefing the interpreter prior to the session will allow them to provide you with the appropriate tone and context for each party.
  • Slow things down: Try not to speak too fast when using an interpreter. Unfortunately, many people develop this habit over time and are not even aware that they are doing this. Slowing down for an interpreter will help increase the accuracy of the translation.
  • Avoid industry jargon and technical terms during an appointment where an interpreter is present: Dialogue of this nature may at times be confusing to the interpreter and can make their job more difficult and your translation less precise.
  • Speak directly to the person with whom you are doing business with: Treat the conversation as you would any other conversation, making eye contact speaking to them. Position the interpreter between you and the client the interpreter is interpreting for. 
  • Be conscious of body language: Be aware of the body language you and your client are using during in-person appointments. We communicate a lot more with our bodies than most of us realize. Moreover, gestures that are commonplace and appropriate in one culture may not be in another culture.
  • Ask interpreters not to change or alter what you say even if they think it may cause offense: Before speaking with clients about controversial issues, make it clear to the interpreter that what will be said is not the opinion of the interpreter but your own. This will free the interpreter of feeling uncomfortable and nervous.

These guidelines should help you to get the best out of your interpreter and consequently your business meeting, presentation, conference or event. If you have questions about our translation services in Los Angeles or our international translation services, please do not hesitate to contact us.