The Importance of High-Quality Interpreting Services in Multilingual Settings

Being multilingual is an advantage in any industry, whether that’s hosting events, expanding to new markets, or working with offices and employees around the world. While developing multilingual web content and internal documentation is a great start, at some point you will also encounter settings that involve real-time conversation in more than one language. In these cases, in order to work and communicate successfully, it’s essential to collaborate with a high-quality interpreting services provider.

What makes a high-quality interpreting service?

The most effective interpreting service providers should be able to do it all. That is, their interpreters should combine linguistic knowledge in your target language(s) with a native level of cultural fluency, which will allow them to navigate the flow of communication with ease. Ideally, an exceptional company will also have interpreters with subject-matter expertise in the relevant industries. Finally, look for an experienced team that can provide professional advice on which types of interpreting and technology are the right fit for your needs.

 Unique interpreting challenges in multilingual settings

Multilingual settings may include everything from large events, such as international conferences and webinars, to smaller but extremely high-stakes environments, such as domestic law courts and healthcare settings. Here are several of the unique challenges that a professional interpreting service can help solve:

  • Accurately conveying jargon and slang: Jargon and slang are among the factors most likely to lead to miscommunication or even costly misunderstandings. Interpreters’ cultural fluency helps to ensure smooth sailing and to mediate any errors.
  • Time management: Good interpreters know how to sort the signal from the noise, so to speak, while ignoring the distractions of a fast-paced situation. Skilled interpretation provides key information in real time to all parties, minimizing confusion and the need for time-consuming clarifications later on.
  • Equal access and inclusion: Foreign-language speakers can face discrimination or inequitable access. Providing interpretation not only is required by law in certain settings but also demonstrates respect and inclusion for a diverse clientele.

Live interpreters vs. automated transcription

Although you might be tempted to rely on automated transcription technology, a human interpreting service will always produce higher-quality results. Automated translations, auto captions, and AI-based interpreting apps cannot interpret many nuanced elements of language and conversation, which can lead to disastrous results. In one example, a Brazilian refugee spent months in detention because staff used an AI “live” interpretation app that did not accurately parse his regional accent or dialect.

Professionally trained interpreters are also familiar with the specialized technology required for interpreting, whether that’s on-site, phone-based, or video remote interpretation (VRI). On-site simultaneous interpretation alone, for instance, requires selecting between radio frequency equipment or infrared equipment based on the scenario at hand. Interpreters with years of experience will know what technology is most appropriate for each setting as well as where to source reliable equipment.

In today’s increasingly globalized world, multilingual services are no longer simply “nice to have.” In order to provide a seamless experience, look to a partner that offers professional interpreting service and that has years of language training.