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When faced with a situation that involves dependency on a professional on the spot interpreter, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the session is beneficial to both parties. A skilled live interpreter listens, comprehends, and delivers a conversation to the recipient in their language, and vice versa. For this reason, it’s important that the interpreter you’re working with is fluent in both your language and the language of the person you need to communicate with.

Here are a few tips that’ll make your first time with a professional interpreter a smooth one:

Make sure the interpreter is qualified – As mentioned above, understanding of the languages is one of the most important qualities an interpreter must possess. In addition to proficiency in languages, make sure your interpreter is up to date on their certifications. If you’re in need of a live interpreter for business or in the medical field, it’s crucial that they’re well versed in terminology or vocabulary that allows them to effectively receive and deliver vital information.

Allow for enough time – Because there’s a potential for a conversation through an interpreter to take twice as long, plan out a sufficient amount of time for the entire process. This will eliminate the need to rush and will result in good quality that’s critical when working with an interpreter.

Speak clearly – Even though an interpreter may be trained to listen and comprehend what is said at a quick pace, it’s still important to speak clearly and slowly. If you are unclear, the interpreter will have to stop you to repeat what you say, delaying the translation process. Remember to pause after a thought is complete. If you’re in a group, make sure only one person speaks at a time.

Choose your words wisely – Professional interpreters are knowledgeable of social cues, idioms, and other cultural phrases. However: Depending on the type of translation you need, such as in a business setting, you’ll want to make sure you are using phrases that speak to the professionalism of the company you’re representing. With that being said, try your best to avoid complex sentences that contain heavy amounts of slang. Use simple yet concise wording that will easily be translatable, making the process smooth and productive.

Listen to responses before speaking again – While an interpreter is delivering a translation to you, be careful to not interrupt. Listen to the entire string of sentences before responding. This will allow for the person you’re trying to communicate with to express their thought through the interpreter and will prevent backtracking or re-explaining.

Don’t rely on the interpreter to respond for you – Even when the simplest questions are asked, don’t rely on the interpreter to assume your answer, or answer for you on your behalf. A live interpreter is a neutral presence and isn’t meant to be involved in the conversation other than the purpose of providing communication and understanding.

Some individuals may lean on family members or friends for communicating, but what happens when it’s imperative to relay medical, legal, or business information? It’s important that you are working with a professional live interpreter, as it’ll be the best way to avoid errors and misunderstandings. Whether for business, medical, or travel, Propio Language Services offers 4,000+ professional interpreters in over 300 languages, and are available 365 days a year. We offer both telephonic and on-location interpreters for any industry! Contact us to learn more!