8 things you should never talk to an interpreter

1. “Tell her/him that…”.

- You should talk directly to the interpreter. The interpreter will be interpreting exactly what you say. Saying “tell him/her that…” does not help but confuse the message.

2. "Close the door, hand me that stapler"

- Excuse me, I am here to facilitate your communication, not to close the door or give you that stapler.

3. “The subject was so simple I think only one person can do simultaneous interpretingfor the whole day”

- An interpreter could go haywire if they have to do continuously simultaneous interpreting for a long time. Anyone’s brain has a maximum tolerance limit and the interpreter are fully aware theirs. Thus, when they said the event needs more than one interpreter, you had better consider it seriously.

4. “I know this word in English and I haven’t heard you mentioned it in your sentence.”

- There are many different way in target language. Do not worry that you can not find any structure or words in the interpreter's saying.

5. “The meeting is so simple. How can you charge me that much”

- It takes him/her years to study and experience with tones of difficulties encountered to be able to work as a professional interpreter. So don’t even think that the price is unreasonable.

6. “My friend is a bilingual person. I think she can become an interpreter at no time”

- Maybe, if her note taking and presentation skills, interpreting tactics and background knowledge are also that good as well.

7. "Interpreting is such an easy job. You don’t need to work much yet still make a bunch of money, not mention to fancy places you go".

- The person that you might think he is doing an easy job need to be trained for years to accumulate communication skills, diplomat protocol, background knowledge and so many more.

8. “Material for reference? I thought that you can easily interpret without any research?"

- Reference material is essential not only for interpreters but also to ensure client’s interest. Each field requires different terminology, expression and expertise. Therefore, reference material is necessary for interpreters to ensure the quality of the interpreting session.


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