Our Tips On Buying Interpreting Services


1.“Do I need a translator or interpreter?”Tips for interpreting services

Interpreters only translate the spoken word.

For written documents, you will need a translator. There are different skill sets in each so not all interpreters are good translators and vice versa.

2. Not sure if you really need an interpreter?

Be aware of the benefits interpreters can bring to international business negotiations

By having an interpreter present, international business negotiations can be better facilitated as everyone can speak in their native language and properly express themselves. An interpreter improves the flow of communication and helps overcome language barriers; this facilitates clear communication between all parties concerned, and avoids any misunderstandings in communication by helping overcome any cultural differences that may arise.

3. There are different types of interpreting and interpreters depending on the requirements 

Simultaneous, whispering, consecutive, liaison…

The type of interpreting you need is ascertained depending on a few factors. For example, if you require interpreting for a conference then you will need a consecutive or simultaneous interpreter; if you require an interpreter for an appointment, where one or more persons do not speak the same language (medical, legal, social service, etc.), you would need a bilateral/liaison interpreter; this type of interpreting is also commonly referred to as ‘community interpreting’. At a business meeting or presentation, consecutive or whispering interpreting can be used depending on the amount of people that need an interpreter.  

Then we have Health and Safety Interpreting for situations when where workers need to be trained in health and safety work practices and other types of workplace training.  In some cases if part of the training is ‘on the go’ such as a tour around a construction site, a tour guide/Infoport system may be required, using a radio and participant headsets to enable the interpreter to talk to people on the move.

It can be quite difficult to decide on the type of interpreting that you need but DCU Language Services has the expertise to advise you on the exact mode of interpreting to suit based on your requirements.

4. Why do I need two interpreters?

This is a question that we often get asked by our clients.

For simultaneous interpreting there always needs to be two interpreters in a booth, with each interpreter taking turns every 30 minutes. Interpreting is exhausting work, so interpreters need frequent breaks; as a result, there is a need to hire a pair of interpreters to cover for these periods and this is especially true for conference or whispering interpreting which are often over long periods of time.

In other types of interpreting, the amount of interpreters you need depends on the nature of the assignment – factors such as how many languages there are and the timetable will influence this.

5. Book your interpreter as far in advance as possible

If you’re reading this then it’s very likely you might need an interpreter….

So as soon as you know that you will need an interpreter you should go about making a booking or to ensure that the best and most suitably qualified interpreters are available. For other shorter community interpreting assignments, an interpreter can generally be booked with a few days advance notice.

You should provide as much background information to your language services provider as possible at the time of enquiry so that the best interpreter can be provided to suit your requirements. Information such as the subject matter, agenda, location, the nature of the requirement and number of attendees is important.

6. Ensure that you will have information available for interpreters to prepare for the meeting or conference

Just as a meeting participant and meeting speaker will prepare in advance for the meeting or conference, an interpreter needs to equally as prepared and they need to be aware of your aims or objectives for the meeting or event in question.

The most commonly provided documents for conferences and business meetings are agendas, speaking notes, presentations, speeches and company information and the provision of this information will enable to best quality interpreting services.

7. Be prepared to pay for good quality professional interpreters

Often clients don’t budget for having interpreters at their events and it’s a last minute thought, despite it often being an essential service for successful communication between delegates at multilingual meetings and conferences.

There are a few factors that influence the cost of buying interpreting services, such as the type of interpreting, languages, the length of the assignment, subject matter, location, and the number of interpreters required.

8. Think about your technical requirements – do you need interpreting equipment?

Depending on the particular assignment, you may need to hire interpreting equipment. Samples of interpreting equipment includes soundproof interpreting booths and interpreter consoles; recording devices; delegate and attendee units including microphones, headsets and voting systems and tour guiding or Infoport systems.

9. Watch your language!

There are a few things to be considered to get the best out of your interpreter:

  • Avoid using jargon, jokes, slang and colloquial language in speech as these often don’t translate as well between languages.
  • Try to use simple, clear language as much as possible to avoid any miscommunication or mistranslations.
  • Speak slowly and as clear as possible and try to avoid long and complex sentences or phrases.
  • Allow breaks in speech for the interpreter at the end of sentences or speech segments.

Related Posts: