When in the process of dispute resolution, it is important that all parties negotiate with each other to come to an agreement clearly and in a timely fashion. Under normal conditions, the mediation process can be long and complex – full of differing opinions and negative attitudes; when a non-English speaker is involved in a mediation process, the issues between the problem and the solution become ever more complicated. Therefore, it is critical that in the event that non-English speakers become involved in this dispute resolution process, that an interpreter is present to bridge the verbal and behavioral language barrier.
The interpreter should be available at all times during the mediation.
The tensions involved in dispute resolution are only exacerbated by the impenetrable gap in communication sparked when a non-English speaker is involved in the process. Should the mediation process continue without an interpreter, it will be near impossible to achieve the mutual understanding required to come to an agreement. Therefore, it is necessary that an on-site interpreter be available throughout the entire mediation session. In more minor disputes, telephonic interpretation on standby can substitute as a readily available option when interpreters are needed but costs are high or the language is rare.
In major disputes, verbal clues in communication are very important.
Mediation can be a very tense process, muddled with uncertainty, distrust, and dishonesty. In major disputes, on-site interpretation is important to not only bridge language barriers between the non-English speaking party and the other parties, but it is also important to have a professional interpreter who can interpret the tone, inflection and register that the English speaker is using. These verbal cues can greatly impact the information being interpreted, so having a qualified interpreter physically present can help minimize unnecessary damages or hinderances to the dispute resolution process.
Non-English speakers must be informed throughout the process.
In the dispute resolution processes, the non-English speaker has the right to be aware of other parties’ views during the proceedings, even if they are not directed towards him or her. An experienced interpreter will ensure that all interactions around the non-English speaker, and conversations had among other parties in the presence of the non-English speaker, are accurately interpreted the entire time. This way, the non-English speaker is not lost in the proceedings but rather is aware and legally “present” by having the communication facilitated by a professional interpreter.
Without an interpreter present, legal proceedings like mediations would be virtually impossible to carry out fairly with a non-English speaking party. It is hugely important for either a skilled on-site or telephonic interpreter to be involved in things like mediations in order to bridge the language gap and make the process easier for everyone involved. Keeping these tips in mind, the dispute process can be made easier for the non-English speaker and can further empower him or her in the process; as well as facilitate fair participation and a just resolution for all parties.
Need an interpreter for a mediation? Niki’s Int’l Ltd. has qualified and certified interpreters in over 350 languages available 24/7 nationwide. Call us at 1-877-567-8449 or e-mail us at [email protected]