What Is Interpreting – A Quick Interpreting Guide

Open to interpretation?

In today’s increasingly globalised world, communications between people, who do not speak a common language are becoming more frequent. In a lot of these instances, body language, gestures and basic foreign language skills are used to aid the process of understanding.

However, when communication moves into more professional situations, it is highly important that messages are conveyed accurately. If you are trying to convince someone of the benefits of your product or service, or make a passionate argument for change, misunderstandings and confusion can have a highly detrimental effect.

In any situation where you need to have someone understand exactly what you are saying, but they show no proficiency for your native language, you will need to acquire the services of an interpreter.

Stylistic differences

Interpreting can be described as ‘unrehearsed transmitting of a spoken or signed message from one language to another’ (NCSC). However, within this field, there are a number of different techniques which may be employed.

When face to face interpreting is required, an interpreter will generally use either the simultaneous or consecutive styles. Simultaneous interpretation means that there will be a continuous interpretation running through the entirety of your speech. This technique is usually used for events such as conferences or large meetings, and often involved the use of equipment such as microphones and headsets. Someone undertaking consecutive interpretation will break what you say into segments, which will then be interpreted. A variation of this is ad hoc interpreting which is often used for informal meetings which require the interpreter to convey a conversation in such a way that it appears to flow seamlessly.

A third option which may be appropriate for certain face to face situations is whispered interpreting. In this instance, the interpreter will sit near to the client and whisper the interpreted content into his or her ear.

A further style is telephone interpreting. This allows for long distance interpretation, which can be arranged at very short notice. This style is usually used for short conversations between overseas clients or suppliers.

The Professionals

Interpreting is a very important process. As such only the highest quality interpreters should be entrusted with the job. Being a successful interpreting provider requires more than simply being bilingual. Interpreters must be able to work in high pressure environments with both speed and accuracy. They also need to have excellent communication skills.

Hiring an experienced professional is highly recommended. Whilst a bilingual friend or young language student may seem like viable options, neither will have the experience required to ensure the necessary level of quality. Interpreters regularly have to concentrate for long periods, and even one lapse in concentration can be crucial.

The best providers of interpreting services will understand the necessary requirements for a successful interpreting assignment. They should provide you with an experienced professional, who is fluent in both languages, and has a good knowledge of the relevant project sector.

Hopefully this article has given you a clearer understanding of the interpreting methods and the importance of interpreting in today’s world. If you have any further questions regarding interpreting, please contact a member of our customer services team on + 44 (0) 1926 335 681 or email info@comtectranslations.com.

Or, if you would like a free translation quote please click the ‘Get a Quote’ button at the top of this page.

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