You need to hire interpreters to provide simultaneous translation at your upcoming meeting. Do you know where to turn? How to select the professionals you need? What qualifications you can expect them to have? Which associations any interpreter worth their salt will belong to?
In the absence of any official recognition of the profession, any linguist can claim to be an interpreter. What’s more, there are several different types of interpreters. Some professionals supply community interpreting or public service interpreting. You, on the other hand, need conference interpreters.
Choose a trusted supplier.
Start by contacting a professional firm run by a Consultant Interpreter. Consultant Interpreters are active conference interpreters, who know their local colleagues personally and are familiar with their individual skills and experience. In contrast to larger and less personal agencies, where freelance interpreters are just names with a language combination, Consultant Interpreters have actually worked in the booth with most of the people they hire.
So, what does a Consultant Interpreter do?
The Consultant Interpreter carefully selects a team of interpreters to match the specific requirements of your meeting, taking into account the following five factors:
Being bilingual is neither a prerequisite nor sufficient in itself to be an interpreter. Training to become an interpreter is rigorous and demanding. Generally, a qualified professional will hold a postgraduate diploma/degree from a recognised interpretation school and will be actively pursuing Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Your Consultant Interpreter will be able to assess the quality of an interpreter’s qualifications and their commitment to their professional development. Furthermore, they will know which professional organisations impose meaningful entry conditions, including peer assessment.
- Relevant experience
Consultant interpreters will hire interpreters with proven experience, not only in the subject-matter of the meeting, but also in the context of the meeting. A business meeting about farming and an EU meeting about farming will approach the sector from completely different angles. Diligent interpreters will always learn the necessary terminology in preparation for a meeting, but being familiar with the ideas and the language used to express them in particular fields makes all the difference.
Simultaneous interpreters work in a team and the team is much more than the sum of its parts. Just like a carefully prepared meal, the various members must complement one another. Some might know more languages than others and, in exceptional circumstances, be asked to supply “relay” for their colleagues (a version from which the original language is reinterpreted into other languages). The Consultant Interpreter will carefully assemble a balanced interpreting team making sure that all languages are adequately covered, minimising the use of relay, and giving priority to interpreters who will work into their mother tongue from all the other languages of the meeting.
Other things being equal, the Consultant Interpreter will give priority to interpreters whose professional domicile is closest to the meeting venue. This will reduce travel and accommodation costs, as well as minimising the team’s carbon footprint.
- Membership of AIIC
Being a member of AIIC, the only worldwide organisation of professional conference interpreters, is a guarantee of quality. AIIC has a strict admissions procedure, whereby the quality of a candidate’s interpreting and their ethical behaviour are assessed. Members are bound by professional secrecy, offering the additional guarantee of confidentiality to clients.
As you can see, hiring interpreters is not as straightforward as it might seem, so for peace of mind and a guarantee that communication will flow smoothly across the language barriers at your meeting, contact a Consultant Interpreter.
Calliope-Interpreters is a global network of Consultant Interpreters, each with in-depth knowledge of their local markets. For tailor-made, optimised interpretation solutions don’t hesitate to contact us.