If you serve individuals who are limited in their English proficiency or those who are deaf or hard of hearing, access to and effective use of a professional interpreter can prove to be an invaluable resource.
Unfortunately, too many people struggle to communicate effectively through an interpreter…leading to misunderstandings and a host of other quality issues…and that's where Volatia comes in…with a highlight of the six best practices you need to know and master when communicating through or working with an interpreter.
1. Introduce yourself and give a very brief overview of the session. This sheds light on the setting for the interpreter.
2. Look at and speak directly to the individual with the language barrier…he or she is your Client.
3. Communicate everything you say in a first-person point of view. This will help the interpreter to express everything you say faithfully…meaning for meaning, without adding or omitting anything.
4. Speak clearly, slowly, and in a normal tone. This will allow the interpreter to retain your original message and to convey it with accuracy.
5. Avoid metaphors, acronyms, slangs or idioms…as they do not transfer well into other languages, and in some cases, have no comparable frame of reference.
6. Be aware of cultural factors and, when possible, use the interpreter as a cultural broker for your session.
Generally speaking, these six principles are a good foundation for each and every interpreted session. However, if you or your organization has a frequent need or use of interpreters, training on how to work with interpreters is recommended.
This is because your understanding of the possibilities or limitations between the different types of interpretation, the various roles of a professional interpreter, and the preferred or chosen mode of interpretation, can help you to truly optimize the interpreter's training and experience.