Have you ever stopped to think just how useful a professional interpreter can be in the world of business? Thanks to globalization, doing business internationally is becoming easier, but there are times when you won’t get by with knowing little English.
For every situation, there’s a type or technique of interpretation. Although we’ve already mentioned these in another blog post, we’ll briefly go over them again:
· Consecutive interpretation. In this mode, the interpreter waits for the speaker to finish before offering the translation into the required language. In these instances, the interpreter is there in the conversation with the participants and notes are usually taken. It tends to be used in presentations.
Bilateral interpreting, also carried out after the speaker finishes, can be included within consecutive interpretation. This mode is normally used in meetings where several people talk or in conversations.
· Simultaneous interpretation. As the name implies, the interpreter speaks at the same time as the speaker. The interpreter usually sits in an isolation booth with the necessary equipment: microphone, headphones, etc. Here at Tatutrad, we’ve also used other more innovative options, such as Infoport systems and The Global Password, which we explain below:
o Infoport portable cases have a microphone for the interpreter and headphones for around a maximum of 20 listeners. The interpreter doesn’t sit in an isolation booth, but rather remains as close as possible to the participants. This solution can be very useful for business meetings where a number of the participants speak a different language.
o The Global Password is a digital solution accessed from a smartphone or web browser. The listeners connect their headphones to their mobiles or the computer and can instantly hear the interpreter. A big advantage is that there’s no need for the interpreter to travel to do their work, in other words, the interpretation is carried out remotely. This is particularly useful for conferences and presentations, but also when an interpreter is required for a teleconference or videoconference.
· Whispered interpretation. Just like simultaneous interpretation, the interpretation happens at the same time as the speaker is talking. In this instance, however, the interpreter is positioned near the person requiring the interpretation and whispers the translation to them, and therefore no specific technology system is used. This type of interpretation is very suitable for situations with few participants.
Given that highly specific topics tend to be discussed in business meetings, having very advanced knowledge of the foreign language is vital for fluid communication. If that’s not the case, a professional interpreter can always be called on. Now that you know the different types of interpretation, let’s see some examples where it may be necessary to call on a translator for a work meeting.
Let’s suppose a British company that sells spirits in China has arranged a meeting with the distributor to see the facilities. Although it’s likely that the Chinese businessman knows English, in an ideal world each participant would speak in their native language to avoid
possible confusion and misunderstandings. Therefore, an interpreter will need to be hired for these meetings. What’s more, when it comes to receiving international clients, it’s important that they feel comfortable, and what better way of doing that than by enabling them to speak in their mother tongue? And of course, we mustn’t forget how important it is to understand the culture of the speakers!
Let’s now suppose that a translator is needed for a business meeting in English and Spanish about exporting a product. Half of the participants, however, are in Seville and the other half, in London, while the interpreter is in Madrid. Bearing in mind the options that we explained previously, in an ideal world unnecessary travelling would be avoided and the meeting and interpretation would be carried out via videoconference, using The Global Password, for example.
Now, let’s think about international agreements between countries. Having a translator in meetings between presidents is very useful, as although it’s very normal for people holding such high positions to know English, that may not always be the case. Furthermore, as we explained in the first example, the speakers must feel as comfortable as possible and they may feel uneasy using a language that is not their own. Whispered interpretation is the most common in these meetings, with an interpreter for each speaker.
As we have seen, having professional interpreters and translators is very important in the world of international business. If you need interpretation services, get in touch with us! At our translation agency, we’ll be delighted to help you and offer our assistance.