Whether you’re a doctor, lawyer or police officer, there’s one thing every profession has in common – communication. No matter what field you’re in, communicating effectively is key to success, especially if you deal with people in multiple languages. The advancement of technology has made over-the-phone interpretation much easier, but there are still many ways it can go wrong.
While dial-up tones and bad reception may be a thing of the past, factors like noisy environments and unreliable services can hinder interpretation. If your business requires an interpreter, here are our top seven solutions to maximize success.
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1. Trusted services
Hiring a competent agency makes all the difference when it comes to interpreting. Finding a reliable service with a reputation is the first port of call, so spend some time looking for a trusted company. They’ll have access to a team of interpreters in all different languages and fields, leaving you without the worry of recruitment, hiring and training processes. The translators will have already been vetted and approved, guaranteeing a high standard of quality. Agencies are also able to take on more work and complex projects in comparison to freelancers.
So if you’re looking for fast, efficient and first-class interpretation, consider hiring a trusted service provider. Look out for client reviews and informative websites to help with your decision, and don’t be afraid to get in touch with them. Reputable companies will be more than willing to answer any questions and put your mind at ease.
2. Certified experts
In certain scenarios, it’s not enough to simply translate information. There may be times when documents and conversations need to be officially certified, for example if a suspect is being interviewed or legal contracts are exchanged.
Certified interpreters must demonstrate years of experience and training to achieve their status. This gives them the expertise, knowledge and contextual insight to be the authority in their field. A reputable service provider will give you access to the best certified interpreters available, so make sure you request them whenever necessary.
3. Quiet environments
Trying to hear someone on the phone with all kinds of background noise, loud sounds and distractions is impossible. This is made all the more difficult when interpreters have to listen carefully and communicate in multiple languages.
Before your call, choose a quiet environment where you’re unlikely to be disturbed. Silence your phone, turn off music and TVs and give your full attention to the phone call. If you’re worried about being interrupted, warn those around you that you’ll be unavailable for a while.
4. Stable connections
There’s nothing more infuriating than a bad connection. The last thing you want is your internet cutting out or your equipment crashing – it causes frustration, delays the process and may even cost you more.
This can be easily avoided by checking everything in advance, testing the technology and resolving any issues that may come up. It’s a good idea to encourage everyone else on the call to do the same, especially if it has been a problem in the past.
To ensure a smooth experience, make sure you are all prepared for what’s involved in the phone call and how long it’s likely to take. Setting an agenda and having everyone on the same page will help you get to the point faster and provide clarity for all participants – saving time in the long run. Giving an estimated duration also allows everyone to schedule their day and allow enough time for the call.
If all parties have a clear idea of the purpose, duration and format of the call, it makes the process more straightforward and allows them to plan accordingly, limiting the risk of any interruptions.
6. Field experience
Choosing an interpreter can be a difficult task. Besides the specific language expertise, you might be wondering what else you should be looking for.
If you can hire an interpreter with experience in your line of work, it will make over-the-phone interpretation much more efficient. This contextual knowledge will allow them to understand and translate information more quickly, without the need to ask lots of questions or take a while to understand the terms or concepts involved.
It also means you can spend less time briefing the interpreter about the case if they’re already familiar with you or your work – and you can be confident they’ll fully explain the information to the other caller.
7. Instant access
One of the benefits of using interpretation services is the immediate access you have to the relevant experts. This instant availability cannot be underestimated – if your business regularly needs to communicate with people on an emergency basis, you need to have reliable interpreters who can be there for you promptly.
If this is something your company needs, you should take steps to ensure that interpreters are available. Whether this means using an agency or increasing your budget for out-of-hours work, make sure you are prepared for these situations ahead of time.
8. Simple, direct instructions
When it comes to talking to your interpreter, you need to speak loudly and clearly. Try not to use any difficult vocabulary or superfluous words – you’re not there to test them. Good interpreters will, of course, be fluent in the language, but it makes the process much quicker if you are simple, direct and concise. Not only will this save valuable time and avoid breaking the flow of the conversation, but it will cut costs if you’re paying by the hour.
Over-the-phone interpretation can be hard to get right, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. If you take the time to use these measures, you’ll see how much more effective communication will be – saving you time, money and effort along the way.