Think of all the steps that go into rolling out a new global product line, from market analysis to design, development and marketing.
Every step comes with risks, and language barriers add an extra layer of complication. By having a language access partner provide an interpreter, you minimize the potential for misunderstandings that can stall negotiations or derail the entire deal.
So how can you be sure that the interpreters you will be using are of the quality you need and deserve?
Identify the Modality
Interpreters are available onsite, via video, and over the phone. Each of these formats is unique and has its own advantages. Work with your language access partner to determine which modality is best suited to your meeting.
Once you have identified the appropriate format, ask your language access partner if their interpreters’ skills have been objectively evaluated. You should also ask if they have obtained certification or have passed an interpretation test. Both private companies and professional organizations are able to provide skills assessments. For instance, LanguageLine offers interpreter testing based on an easy-to-understand scale like the one developed by the Interagency Language Roundtable.
Being bilingual doesn’t necessarily mean someone is qualified to work as an interpreter for business meetings or other situations. Professional interpreters have carefully honed their ability to listen well and recall information. They’re familiar with the ethics and professional practice standards that define an interpreter’s role as a neutral conductor of information, not a participant. Professional interpreters also have great interpersonal skills and an understanding of the nuances of the cultures in which they work.
Knowledge of the Field
Some testing is designed to qualify interpreters for work in a specific field, such as in a courtroom or healthcare organization. The interpreter must be familiar and comfortable with technical terms, industry jargon, and broad concepts in English before attempting to communicate them in another language.
Ongoing Interpreter Training
Interpretation is an evolving field, with new technologies being introduced all the time. You want the interpreter at your business meeting to be familiar with your industry as it exists today, not five years ago or even a year ago. Make sure your language access partner provides formal interpreter training.
The Highest Standard Possible
When you work with LanguageLine interpreters, you can rest assured they will meet the highest standards of quality. Our employees have passed a rigorous selection process that includes a language proficiency test, interpreter skills assessment, and background check. (Our process is so selective that we only hire one out of every eight interpreters who apply.) Once they’re hired, our interpreters are monitored for quality and participate in ongoing training.
Just as you wouldn’t sign a contract without reading it, you don’t want to go into a global business meeting without a qualified interpreter. Learn more about our extensive network of interpreters and find just the right one for your next meeting.