Working as an interpreter allows linguists to help shape the future. It’s a career that offers lifelong learning experiences. It teaches linguists to learn as much as possible about diversity and human nature while also building on their own personal strengths.
But just like every other employee in the world, there are some things interpreters wish their clients could understand about their jobs. At Day Interpreting, we asked some of our interpreters to share their ideas on the topic. Here’s what they had to say…
Interpreting Is NOT Translation
Professional interpreters and translators have different skill sets. Although both professions are held to the same high professional standards, a translator cannot always interpret, and an interpreter cannot always translate. Translators work with written words. Interpreters work with spoken words. Please understand and respect the difference.
An Interpreter Is NOT a Jack of All Trades
Conference interpreters work in business settings and generally use simultaneous interpreting. Medical interpreters have expert knowledge of the field and work in healthcare settings. Legal interpreters understand the vocabulary and complexities of the law and work with legal proceedings. Expertise really matters more than you might know. Always ensure you use the most experienced interpreter for your specific project.
Interpreters Need Time to Prep
Just like every other person out there, interpreters can’t do their jobs if they’re covering unfamiliar topics. Please share your documents with your linguist because having some information is better than having nothing at all to work with.
Professional Interpreters Abide by Their Code of Ethics
Confidentiality is critical in interpreting. Please rest assured that interpreters will keep everything confidential, so please share ALL your materials; the quality of the interpretation will be better for it.
The Movies Make It Seem Like a Walk in the Park
The job itself might seem glamorous. But in reality, interpreting at a medical conference on urology is…well, not that glamorous at all.
Interpreters Can’t Always Work from and To Every Language
Interpreters specialize in one or more languages, and they also specialize focus on translating something from or to a language. Just because they’re able to translate from one language doesn’t mean they can translate to that language as well.
Professional Equipment Makes All the Difference
If you use professional interpretation equipment, you’ll end up with a professional interpretation. And that really is the key to the success of your event. If your interpreter cannot hear well, they can’t correctly interpret the message. Just go ahead and use equipment provided by your language service provider as part of the package.
Please Speak at a Reasonable Pace
Some speakers are known for rushing through their presentations. But did you know that French, Italian, and Spanish use about 30% more words than English to express the exact same idea? Just consider how quickly the interpreter must speak to cover everything you’re rushing through at a thousand miles per hour. Ensuring that you speak at a reasonable pace helps the interpreter relay what you’re saying with accuracy and clarity.
Now that you understand what interpreters wish you knew about their job, you can rest assured that they don’t offer their services as a side hustle. Reach out to Day Interpreting today to get connected to the industry’s best interpreters. Our years of experience and know-how is your asset too!
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