What Should We Keep in Mind When Interpreting?

When we must complete an interpretation job, it is essential, first and foremost, that we consult with the client or the person/company hiring our interpretation services so that they can provide us with as much information as possible about the issues to be addressed during the conference. If possible, it is important to have all necessary information as soon as possible so as to have enough time to study up on the subject and conduct whatever research may be necessary.

Some important points to consider are the following: first, the number of people attending the conference, either as speakers or audience members (it is helpful to know the approximate number of people who will be listening to our interpretation and how many of these participants will be speakers at the conference). Another key point is to try to obtain the program topics and their corresponding schedules in order to organize the interpretation as best as possible. It is also very important to check if they can send us the presentations that will be shown during the talk in advance.

Researching the speciality of the company or the speaker will also be very helpful in order to be able to incorporate appropriate vocabulary and to find out about the speaker (i.e. if he or she has spoken at similar conferences in the past in order to study that material, etc.). Sometimes we can even find videos on the Internet or YouTube of previous conferences that may be of great help. Regarding the conference speaker or presenter, above all, we need to know what country he or she is from so that we know what his or her accent will be like.

If the idea is to work in a team or with a partner, it will be helpful for us to talk about the agenda and schedule with our partner beforehand and decide at what times one or the other will work more intensively, or if both can take turns depending on the topic or the speaker. Often times, interpretations require a very demanding mental speed, and therefore teams of interpreters can be formed for this purpose. As already mentioned and explained in previous posts, the interpretation may be simultaneous or consecutive.

These are, in short, some things that will help us produce a more organized interpretation and avoid surprises. What do you recommend?