Things to ponder when contracting an Interpreter or Translator
To all my wonderful and potential clients, please keep this in mind when you are contracting a “Translator” for a Hearing, Medical assignment, Conference, meetings, etc.
Because I know how important and critical each venue can be, I want to make sure you contract ONLY but the BEST!
A few tips to help you and your business…
Tip 1: First if you need an Interpreter DON’T search for a Translator
Because a translator deals with written material vs. an actual event. The interpreter, however, deals with the “spoken word” that is the one conveying your message into another language and being “The Voice (TM)” for you and your clients and helping you “Bridge the Language Barrier in Communication.”
Tip 2. Second, how to search for an Interpreter
You can always search on Google for an Interpreter, but it’s always better to ask someone with experience, someone who has used the services of an interpreter, someone who actually can tell you “Yes, I’ve used his / her services and he/she is great!”, or if you find the interpreter via Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., ask that interpreter for his / her expertise, experience, and qualifications.
You can find an interpreter via an Interpreting Agency, but that can go wrong very quickly!
Because many agencies ONLY want to book the venue and they don’t take the time to actually evaluate the event and match the skills with the interpreter.
In early 2000, when I first started to work as an Interpreter. I was called to do a “Client / Attorney” meeting (from what the Agency told me). They said, “We have a Client / Attorney meeting to discuss a case”. I said “OK, I can handle that (I have years of experience doing Client / Attorney meetings for friends and family)”.
Unbeknownst to me, it was NOT a Client / Attorney meeting it was a Deposition. I was fairly new to the field and I didn’t have ANY EXPERIENCE doing those types of assignments.
I immediately told the attorneys that I did not feel comfortable moving forward with the assignment and their response was…
“Don’t worry, we are already running late, we can’t wait for another interpreter, we will proceed with you and if I see you are NOT doing a good job (one of the attorneys was bilingual) then we will STOP the Deposition”.
Although I was VERY NERVOUS and hesitant I agreed to do it (per the attorney’s request.
Thank goodness, after all, was said and done, I was able to finish the assignment with 100% approval from all parties involved, but to this day I think I was – one of the lucky ones, NOT many interpreters would have been able to pull this off!
Immediately, after completing my assignment the attorneys who contracted the agency called them right in front of everyone and fired their services, and decided to contract my services directly for all of their upcoming assignments.
When you search for an Interpreter or Translator PRICING can be a big factor for many companies; however, some say and think that by paying more, you will get better services because the saying says:
“You get what you paid for”, but that is NOT always the case.
Unfortunately, many companies prefer to use the services of an Interpreting Agency, as well as of a “Certified Interpreter” because they think that by paying more for a “Certified” interpreter they will receive better services.
Unfortunately, that is NOT ALWAYS the case.
Quick tips on how to contract an interpreter or translator
When looking for an interpreter make sure to ask for:
- The interpreter’s qualifications and experience
- Provide details of your appointment, such as;
- If it’s legal; is it a Deposition, Hearing, Trial, Mediation, etc…
- A personal injury case, immigration, civil case, probate, etc…
- The more information and basic details that you can provide the agency, or the interpreter the better service you will receive
- MORE IMPORTANTLY – Don’t assume that ALL interpreters are familiar with ALL TERMINOLOGY!
Just like a Doctor, he/she is ONLY familiar with medical terminology, but also they have their own specialization. The same goes for Attorneys and Interpreters we are NO DIFFERENT!
Make sure to be specific about your needs and provide as much information and details of your appointment to better help the interpreter prepare for the assignment.
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