Being Bilingual Compared to a Professionally Trained Interpreter:
Being able to communicate in more than one language can be extremely beneficial in many situations, however, there is a difference in knowing a language well enough to get the gist of what’s being said, being able to have an intellectual conversation with a person, and being able to facilitate communication through interpretation. Being bilingual means a person can communicate easily using standard vocabulary with native speakers. Being bilingual allows a person to travel with ease, order dinner, ask for directions or carry on a meaningful conversation with a native speaker. Reading medical exams or understanding legal documents with advanced terminology may be a stretch and have a bilingual speaker struggling to find the correct words to use in the second language they speak.
The job of a professional interpreter is not just for anyone who has the ability to speak two languages; a lot of hard work, dedication and experience go into becoming an interpreter. Interpreters require a strong understanding of both target and source languages and cultures in order to provide a clear and concise understanding and explanation of the information being delivered. In addition to educational and language fluency requirements, interpreters need many years of experience and continuous lifelong learning in order to keep current and perform the task seamlessly. An interpreter has to be familiar with advanced terminology, cultural influences, language nuances and have a precise understanding of the region from which the language they speak derives. This complete understanding of language and culture go far beyond simply being able to communicate in another language. It takes years for an interpreter to master the languages in which they speak, this complete awareness and mastery allow them the ability to facilitate communication under any circumstance and regarding any topic.
Not Using a Professional Interpreter Can Be Dangerous:
Oftentimes when a professional interpreter is not utilized, young children, family members or bilingual employees are asked to interpret. This situation is less than optimal due to the many negative outcomes associated with using an unqualified person to perform the task of professional interpretation. In situations where time is of the essences, money is an issue or there is a lack of education on how to access an interpreter, people lean towards using an unqualified person to interpret. In medical or legal situations communication is the most important tool; if that communication is not clear and language barriers are not fully bridged then patient or client care can be compromised, errors can be made and adverse consequences can be faced due to a miscommunication. Communication allows doctors to obtain information regarding a patient’s health, symptoms, family history, beliefs and general concerns. It’s also how the doctor is able to make patients aware of how to take care of themselves, medications to take, procedures or lifestyle changes that may need to take place. The proper facilitation of communication allows lawyers, judges, and juries the ability to fully understand the information provided to them so they are able to make sound decisions regarding the legal fate of the person in question. It’s imperative that a professionally trained interpreter be used in situations where language barriers are preventing medical or legal workers from providing optimal care and understanding. If an interpreter is not used it opens the door for misunderstandings to cause harm or flip a person’s life upside down all because of a language barrier.
Being bilingual is the foundation of becoming an interpreter, however, fully functioning as an interpreter takes a lot of time, work, and dedication. If your business, organization or facility is in need of an interpreter, contact Niki’s Int’l Ltd., a language service company (LSC) with over 20 years of experience providing professionally trained interpreters. They offer language services such as over-the-phone (OPI) interpretation, on-site interpretation as well as video remote interpreting (VRI). Don’t put yourself or anyone at risk of facing the negative effects associated with language barriers by using a bilingual individual as opposed to an interpreter when communication needs to be facilitated.
Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled interpreters and translators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified interpreters and translators. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at www.nilservices.com.