Language is inextricably linked to culture. And that’s why interpreters need a deep understanding of the source and target languages they work with to communicate across cultures effectively. Interpreting cultural nuances are at the heart of professional results. But interpreters also work according to a strict code of conduct, something we refer to as interpreter etiquette.
Conveying terms and expressions that are deeply rooted in a specific culture can be challenging.
Especially 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.
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.
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 understand 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.