If asked, many people might assume they’ll never need the services of a professional interpreter, however, there are numerous instances when an interpreter can (and should) be used to ensure communication is faultless.
Instances such as, medical emergencies while abroad, legal issues, or inclusive community projects can all require the services of an interpreter.
Knowing when a bi-lingual friend can be used as an amateur interpreter, or when professional interpretation services are needed, is a must if a successful outcome is desired.
The following information should help you decide why a professional interpretation service should be used, and when.
Interpreter or Amateur Linguist?
Within a business setting, a professional interpreter is an invaluable and appropriate asset.
Mistakes in comprehension and understanding can be costly, both in terms of lost contracts, loss of face, or misunderstood agreements.
There are also culturally accepted norms which should be considered if conducting business outside your usual sphere of commerce. For instance, if you hail from the UK, but are looking to open trade avenues with a company from the Middle-East, it is essential that you grasp the basic differences within working practices, societal behaviour and legal obligations, alongside language differences that must be accounted for at meetings and during calls.
However, if you are organising a small, community led project which aims to be inclusive to all minority groups within a select location, then it is likely that a bi-lingual member of the community would suffice for interpretation.
It might be worth engaging the services of a translator to assist with initial communications, or to verify some of the finer details within written correspondence, but for some small projects an amateur linguist or bi-lingual resident should be sufficient.
Of course, if there are legal details which require attention within a local project then a professional interpreter can offer the safest, most cost-effective method to ensure accuracy and validity.
Other instances where professional interpretation services should always be used are:
• Medical Interpretation – this can be a highly specialised area and as such, requires the use of professional translation and interpretation. Mistranslation can result in injury, inappropriate use of medicines, or even death.
• Legal Interpretation – as with medical interpretation this is a highly specific area that requires the use of a professional interpreter. Ensuring you stay within the bounds of the law is vital. Both business and personal legal matters should be handled by a professional interpreter to avoid misunderstanding, confusion and breach of laws or regulations.
• Impartiality and Confidentiality – in instances where impartiality or confidentiality are required, it is vital to appoint a professional interpretation team. It is commonplace for professional interpreters to use confidentiality agreements within their work, and if this isn’t the case, avoid using their services.
When to Use Professional Interpreters
Most instances that require accurate interpretation also call for the use of a professional interpreter as opposed to an amateur linguist, bi-lingual friend, employee or colleague.
While it may seem that the cost of a professional interpretation company is an expense you might be able to avoid, the costs involved with misinterpretation can be colossal.
For health and medical interpretations, costs involved with misinterpretation can lead to a lack of engagement with health services, dissatisfied patients, increased legal actions, misdiagnosis, poor health care, and inappropriate treatment or medication use.
In countries which have a different legal system to the one with which you are accustomed, it is vital the services of a fully-trained, professional interpretation company is used to conduct all legal affairs in order to avoid laws being breached or regulations broken.
This might mean employing the services of an interpreter to assist at business meetings where legal issues are discussed such as, contracts and employment.
If you are unsure whether you require the services of a professional interpretation team, it is worth seeking advice here from the experts at Creative Word.
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