An interpreter is a necessity to any meeting between parties speaking different languages, as they bridge the gap between and allow interaction. People want to be understood, but they also want to know the other's views as well.
In the business world, interpreters are handy when trying to form relations with other international corporations. However, how correct the translating is could mean the difference between a successful partnership and expensive lawsuits.
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With so many linguists offering their services, how will you know which one is the best choice? Here are some of the traits of a good interpreter:
- Has mastered the source and target languages- a good interpreter must be knowledgeable enough about the target language, including its quirks, rules and vocabulary.
- Has a degree (or something similar) in linguistics/interpreting-hire someone professional and has extensive knowledge and experience in linguistics and translating, and preferably someone who has a degree in law, economics or healthcare.
- Is Punctual- a late interpreter prevents the different parties from interacting until he arrives. This delay can cause tension, awkwardness and more costs to the clients.
- Is tactful- an interpreter must be tactful and maintain his diplomacy when tension arises regardless of how the participants may treat her/him.
- Has respect for their clients' confidentiality- interpreters should know that whatever information that was shared when his clients were using his services have to be kept hidden.
- Looks professional and is well-dressed- the interpreter will be representing you and your company during a meeting, and as such must be clean and dressed well for the occasion.