Business Interpreting – The Essentials

by | Nov 19, 2021

Business interpreting is arguably one of the most important aspects that companies need to keep in mind when it comes to the global business space. As you’ll undeniably be working with a mix of cultures and languages, it’s essential to ensure your communication is understood by all participants and that the message doesn’t get lost in translation. Therefore, it is vital for business interpreters at hand to facilitate clear and effective communication.


The Value of Business Interpreting

The real value of business interpretation shows up when you need to close deals and sign contracts. But it’s essential to keep in mind that you’ll need an interpreter – not a translator – when it comes to translating spoken conversations from one language to another.

Interpreting for business meetings is the best way to facilitate effective communication since interpreters ensure that each participant in the meeting understands what is being presented and discussed and that the message is delivered in a way that is culturally acceptable.


How to Prepare for Business Interpreting

When it comes to business, it is essential to make use of language experts that offer industry-specific business interpretation services. These professionals are already familiar with industry-specific terminology, enabling them to provide feedback and ensure accurate delivery of interpreting services. This can be especially beneficial in the event where participants have questions about meeting-related conversations. 

Pre-meetings are advisable when you plan on using interpreting for your business needs, as this establishes the conditions for the meeting.  The pre-meeting also eliminates the risk of miscommunication, untoward expectations, and misconceptions.

As you work with your interpreter, you’ll cover the language requirements of all the meeting participants. If you know where the delegates are from, it’ll help the interpreter ensure they use the correct regional dialect when interpreting too.

It’s important to go through the key points of your meeting with your interpreter so they can identify any potential issues that can affect the translation.  You might also want to provide them with copies of prepared speeches so they can familiarize themselves with the key messages.


Understanding a Business Interpretation Process

Just like any other type of interpreting service, business interpretation is a complex task that requires experience and expertise along with knowledge of the subject matter and fluency in the source and target languages. 

There are various forms of interpretation that can be used. These include simultaneous interpreting and consecutive interpreting, both of which work well if you’re addressing a large audience. There’s also whisper interpreting, which is used for more intimate meetings that have just a handful of attendees.


Simultaneous Interpreting

In most business meetings, simultaneous interpretation is the most straightforward and effective solution to bridge the language barrier. It might be the most complex style of interpreting, but it’s also the most flexible.

This style of interpreting is used when the interpreter immediately translates the message as the speaker completes a sentence. While the interpreter translates one sentence, he also listens to the following sentence being spoken. It’s a style used in the United Nations assemblies and the method most commonly used for large conferences and meetings where there are a number of languages present.


Consecutive Interpreting

Consecutive interpreting sees the speaker pausing after a few minutes of talking, so the interpreter has time to interpret what was said. It’s often referred to as back-and-forth interpreting and works well for smaller meetings.


Whispering Interpreting

This interpreting style resembles simultaneous interpreting. The difference is that with whispering interpreting, the interpreter sits close to the person requiring the translation. As the speaker delivers his message, the interpreter relays the translation as a whisper to the attendee to ensure


Business Interpreting Options

Aside from the three main styles of interpreting that can be used for business interpretation, you also need to consider whether you plan to facilitate in-person or remote interpreting services to your audience. Here’s a look at three main options:



IPI, or in-person interpreting, is when the interpreter is physically present in the meeting to help translate business discussions. This style of interpreting is also known as face-to-face or on-site interpreting.



OPI is short for over-the-phone interpreting. Telephonic interpreting connects human interpreters to individuals that need to communicate with each other but do not speak the same language, and the service is facilitated through telephonic technologies. Telephonic interpreters convert spoken language from one language to another, which enables listeners and speakers to understand each other.



VRI (virtual remote interpreting) works much the same as OPI but adds the visual element to a conversation that can help build rapport. This form of interpreting is especially useful when communicating with deaf or hard-of-hearing audiences since it allows them to see what’s being said in a conference. With VRI, the meeting host, as well as the meeting attendees, make use of videoconferencing equipment to facilitate the interpreting service. 


Interpreting Terminology

If you haven’t used interpreting services in the past, the terminology used in the sector might seem confusing, but it’s pretty straightforward. Here’s a look at the basics you need to brush up on:

  • Active Language – This is the language into which the interpreter interprets (target language).
  • Passive Language – This is the language from which the interpreter interprets (source language).
  • Reduced Regime – When there are interpreting services on offer, but it doesn’t cover all the official languages of the attendees.
  • Symmetric Language – This means delegates can speak and listen to interpretations from the same languages.
  • Asymmetric Regime – This means the conference attendees can speak a variety of languages, but the interpretation is only provided for a limited number of those languages.
  • Relay – This means the interpreter works from a language they don’t have in their combination through a bridging language, for example, interpreting from Russian to Norwegian via a first interpretation into Spanish.


Getting Your Business Communication on Point

Whether you need business interpreting or translation services, Day Interpreting is the solution to your needs. We’re a professional Interpreting company that offers a full suite of language services for local and global clients.

Our extensive network of professional interpreters and translators is based in-country, ensuring that your business messages are always delivered accurately to your audience. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can assist you with bridging the language barrier!


Seldean Smith
Seldean Smith

Seldean is a multi-skilled content wizard that dedicates herself to writing content that goes beyond merely sparking interest in the audience.

Seldean Smith

Seldean is a multi-skilled content wizard that dedicates herself to writing content that goes beyond merely sparking interest in the audience.

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