Pointers on Working with a Translator & Interpreter

Whether good or evil, we are living in a globalised world where people frequently interact with others from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This gives rise to the demand for translators & interpreters. When hiring a translator & interpreter, it is more than simply providing the work, waiting and then collecting the results. Consider the following pointers when engaging a translator & interpreter will help to ensure a satisfactory and successful outcome for both parties:


1. Explain the nature of the assignment and identify the target audience.

The nature of the assignment is particularly important for a translator. The output will differ greatly depending on whether it is a report, brochure, web page or subtitles, and with the target audience clearly identified the translator will be able to deliver the message in an appropriate manner accordingly. For the interpreter, as much information and details should be provided prior to the assignment, particularly industry-specific items. This prevents interpreters from being caught off guard and ensures accurate rendition of the message during the assignment.


2. Understand the constraints.

Time is a major constraint for both translators and interpreters. As mentioned in the post dated 9 June 2014 (Popular Misconceptions about Translators & Interpreters): when rushed, the cost goes up and the quality of work tends to suffer. When working with interpreters, it is also very important to remember to pause frequently to allow the speech to be conveyed to the target audience in reasonable chunks, otherwise it may be condensed or fraught with omissions.


3. Communicate the needs and expectations.

In addition to point 1, tell the translator & interpreter in advance what you want to convey and hope to gain from the engagement will allow the message to be delivered more accurately and precisely. A translator & interpreter is working for you and therefore has your best interest at heart.


4. Give me a break!

This is particularly important for an interpreter. Even though consecutive interpreters can work for a much longer session compare to simultaneous interpreters, it does not mean they can go on indefinitely! During a usual business meeting, they have to continuously receive and relay messages between two languages. It is both demanding and exhausting, and regular breaks are necessary to ensure they do not burn out.

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