The Invaluable Role of a Simultaneous Interpreter:
Simultaneous interpreters can be found working in a variety of settings such as at the United Nations conferences, courtrooms, schools and healthcare facilities. Simultaneous interpreters are highly trained professionals who are able to listen to one language, process the information and speak simultaneously in another, conveying words, nuances, emotions as well as the overall essence of the message being interpreted. This skill requires interpreters who have an advanced level of education and experience in order to accurately and efficiently perform such a strenuous task. Working as a simultaneous interpreter requires such different applications of language that mastering multiple languages is necessary but an insufficient minimum requirement for entering the profession. Simultaneous interpreters require the utmost concentration and need to be able to hone in on a specific subject while filtering out external noises and distractions that can affect the interpretation. They also have to put a remarkable amount of diligence and perseverance into advancing and enhancing their skill set in order to stay relevant in the language service industry. The job is so taxing due to the speed and immediacy needed, oftentimes simultaneous interpreters work in groups of two or more to accommodate the workload. Since the work is so demanding it’s important that if you’re interacting with a simultaneous interpreter, you do everything you can to prepare and lessen the stress that can be associated with the task. The following is a list comprised of what to avoid when working with a simultaneous interpreter.
What to Avoid When Working with a Simultaneous Interpreter:
- Speak directly to the limited English proficient (LEP) individual just as you would if there were no language barrier. Avoid saying things like, “Tell her” and “Explain to him.”
- Never substitute a family member, child or bilingual staff member for a professional interpreter. Accurate and effective communicate can only be facilitated when professional interpretation services are utilized. Using an unqualified individual as an interpreter can lead to unwanted and oftentimes negative outcomes.
- Be aware that the interpreter must interpret everything said during the session. If you do not want something interpreted, avoid discussing the subject.
- Speak in your normal tone and pace, there is no need to speak slowly or loudly, the interpreter is a trained professional, they have the ability to keep up.
- Enunciate your words and try to avoid contractions, which can be easily misunderstood as the opposite of your meaning, for example, “can’t – cannot.”
- Avoid oversimplification of important explanations, if needed provide a brief definition of technical terminology.
- Don’t make assumptions about the LEP individuals education level. An inability to speak English does not constitute a lack of education.
- Be aware of nonverbal body language and gestures that may be offensive to the family’s culture or religion.
- Avoid interrupting the interpreter. Many concepts expressed in one language have no linguistic, or conceptual equivalent in other languages. The interpreter may have to paint a picture of many terms you use in order for the LEP individual to understand. This may take longer, so give the interpreter adequate time to convey the message.
- Use complete sentences and ideas.
- Avoid puns and humor based on wordplay, it usually won’t translate well and your punchline will fall short.
- Avoid using colloquialisms and acronyms, if you must, please explain their meaning to the interpreter to ensure they understand what you are trying to convey.
- Try your best to avoid the use of industry jargon.
- Jokes and idioms are an interpreter’s worst nightmare, most jokes are overflowing with cultural nuances, local customs, regional expressions and historical events. It’s almost impossible to interpret a joke from one language into another with it making sense and everyone understanding the humor in it.
If you’re in the market for simultaneous interpretation services, partnering with a language service provider such as Niki’s Int’l Ltd. can allow you to gain access to qualified and experienced professional interpreters. Let Niki’s Int’l Ltd. extend their professionalism to accommodate your interactions with LEP individuals through the use of simultaneous interpretation. Understanding the vital role a simultaneous interpreter plays in bridging language gaps and being aware of what to avoid, can ensure your provided with the most accurate interpretation session.
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.