Cultural Considerations for Professional Interpretation

by | May 24, 2021

Because language is inextricably linked to culture, interpreters need to have a deep understanding of the source and target languages they work with to communicate across cultures effectively.

Conveying terms and expressions that are deeply rooted in a specific culture can be challenging if the same idea doesn’t exist in the target language’s culture. Going far beyond just bridging the language gap, interpreters enable different cultures to understand each other by deploying their cultural consideration skills.

 

How Do Interpreters Navigate Cultural Differences?

It All Starts with Experience

Culture, as defined by social scientists, consists of the symbolic, conceptual, and intangible aspects of human societies. The skill required to navigate cultural differences comes with time and experience.

To be successful in this task, interpreters need to gain a vast knowledge of values, attitudes, and assumptions that exist across various cultures. Working in another country can give an interpreter the insight they need to grasp terminology that might otherwise be challenging to interpret.

To a large extent, an interpretation’s quality depends on the interpreter’s experience with the domain and their prior experience in the field subject to interpretation.

 

They Have Cultural Competency Skills

Cultural competence is a set of behaviors, values, and attitudes that enable an organization or person to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Cultural competence is about understanding and respecting the culture and having a deep understanding of expectancies from a social and pragmatic perspective.

Because professional interpreters have an understanding of cultural nuances, they’re able to effectively and appropriately deliver intended messages, ensuring that nothing goes lost in translation while adapting the context to fit the cultural expectancies of the target audience.

 

Professional Interpreters Are Always Prepared

Professional interpreters are proficient with all the terms and colloquialisms within their area of expertise.  They understand the importance of preparing for interpreting projects and getting clear on the goals of the interpretation.

By being prepared for the session, interpreters are able to preempt any situations that might occur due to cultural differences and can navigate around them with ease. These pre-sessions don’t only help the interpreter but also ensures that the client’s message is translated exactly the way it was intended to be received.

 

Interpreters Are Intercultural Mediators

Interpretation doesn’t only focus on spoken language but also includes translating world views. Interpreters are the links between two different world views. Acting as intercultural mediators can only be done if the interpreter is aware of and sensitive to both cultures involved in the discussion.

Professional interpretation requires adjusting in the discourse to enable communication while preserving the richness that lies within the differences. Interpreters help minimize frictions between worldviews and facilitate mutual comprehension.

 

Need Help with Cross-Culture Interpreting?

Professional interpreters don’t only have a deep understanding of various languages. They also focus on cultural aspects that can heavily impact the translation of an expression or piece of content from one language to another.  

The team of industry-leading interpreters at Day Interpreting commit themselves to continual learning to stay up to date with current events, enabling them to act accordingly when working with cultures that may be sensitive to specific delivery methods or topics of discussion.

Instead of just lexical translations, our interpreters always ensure that your message still gets delivered as intended, regardless of what your target audience’s culture is. Get in touch with our team of language experts today to learn more about how we can help voice your message on the global stage!

 

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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