Interpretation is the verbal translation of a conversation or presentation. Interpreter’s role is to ensure communication between parties is as clear as possible and misunderstandings are minimised. Having an interpreter allows you to express yourself in your native language. An interpreter can help you bide time to formulate responses in negotiations and assist you in understanding cultural differences.

What are the various modes of interpreting?

Whispered interpreting, consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting.

What is whispered interpreting?

In whispered interpreting, mainly performed during court proceedings, the interpreter sits next to the listener and whispers the words into his or her ear.

What is consecutive interpreting?

In consecutive interpreting, the interpreter listens to the speaker deliver part of a speech and then translates it into another language.

What is simultaneous interpreting?

Simultaneous interpretation involves orally translating a speech as it is delivered, in real time.

What is telephone interpreting?

Telephone Interpreting is a service that allows parties who speak different languages to communicate with each other. This is done via a three-way conference call.

When will I need an interpreter?

Interpreters work in situations where there is a language barrier, for example in business meetings, court hearings, conferences, presentations, medical appointments and other situations where one or more people cannot understand each other.

What is the cost of hiring an interpreter?

The cost depends on the language combination, as well as the length, nature and location of the assignment. Interpreting bookings are charged on an hourly basis but half day or full day block booking are also known to be made. In some situation, you may also be asked to cover the mileage and travel expenses.

How far in advance should I book an interpreter?

Finding an interpreter at short notice can be difficult, especially in rarer languages, so it’s best to give as much notice as possible.

What information do I need to provide in order to brief the interpreter?

Initially, provide us some basic details, such as language, location, nature and date of the assignment. In order to prepare, the interpreter will need as much background information as possible on the subject matter, participants and specific terminology they may need to familiarise themselves with.

Can we ask our bi-lingual staff members to interpret for us?

Asking someone who is not a professional interpreter to interpret can be risky and uncomfortable for all parties involved. Interpreting is a complex process that requires a high level of linguistic, cognitive and technical skills; it requires physical endurance, the ability to handle challenging situations, portray the emotions of participants, remain impartial, and adhere to confidentiality.

What are some of the most challenging situations you have ever worked in?

Did we mention that all our assignments are confidential? Alright then, for those readers that are really curious, here are some examples with identifying details removed! One that springs to mind is our Mandarin interpreter driving around for three days in the back of a test car at a racing track testing ABS brakes. Or that of our Polish telephone interpreter telling a client detained by the police for drink driving that in a moment she would be asked to remove her top as it contained a cord, only to hear the entire police station scream “Not yet! We will give you a t-shirt to change into!”

Actually, most interpreting situations are challenging. Interpreters work in highly pressured environments and dynamics, having to think on their feet to keep the communication flowing. They need a lot of patience, diplomacy and sometimes nerves of steel. 

Please feel free to contact me for more information!

Yours sincerely

Eva Hussain

With over 15 years experience in the language sector, Eva is a sought-after linguist, consultant and trainer. In addition to her native Polish, Eva speaks French, Russian, Turkish and Hindi. Find her at Polaron Language Services, www.polaron.com.au

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