Neutrality and restraint of the interpreter
An interpreter is often in a rather unusual position – an important participant in negotiations and at the same time “invisible”, and this position dictates its own rules. He should not express his thoughts, even if he does not agree with the point of view that he will have to translate and interfere with the relations of the parties.
In addition, you need to be more careful with non-verbal means when you getting police and CPS interpretation. If it is necessary to evoke in the listener those emotions that the speaker meant, this is achieved primarily by the correct transmission of the meaning of the translated text and the selection of the right words.
Neutrality should be in appearance. The dress code of an interpreter implies restraint in both colours and styles of clothing, the absence of catchy jewellery and defiant makeup for women. As a rule, the customer sets the requirements for the dress code of an interpreter in advance.
Of course, one should not forget about the generally accepted rules of conduct, the ethics of oral communication and showing respect for the interlocutor, because this is the key to a good impression both about the translator and those whom he translates. This is what significantly increases the chances for further cooperation.
Knowledge of speaker culture
Albert Schweitzer wrote that “translation is not only the interaction of languages, but also the interaction of cultures.”
When working with native speakers of a foreign language, it is important for a translator to know their culture. Differences in traditions, mentality and picture of the world dictate the rules and norms of communication with representatives of other cultures. During the translation process, it is desirable to take these aspects into account so that there are no misunderstandings or awkward situations.
For everyone to have a positive impression of the negotiations, it is also important to consider the peculiarities of the behaviour of a particular nation in business relations. For example, Americans are strict disciplinarians, but at the same time they do not like an overly official atmosphere, they are friendly, smiling and somewhat self-centred. The Germans are lovers of order and punctuality, logical reasoning, and accuracy in presenting facts. The British are restrained and polite, avoid categorical judgments and are somewhat closed. The French, on the other hand, try to adhere to etiquette, are open and value intelligence and the ability to accurately express themselves and formulate conditions, if they have comments or counterarguments, they can interrupt the speaker. The French also appreciate the interest in their culture and language.
Banquet and buffet: when there are an interpreter
Often, events where interpreters work take the form of banquets or buffets with food and drinks, including alcohol. As translator Gennady Miriam advised novice colleagues: “… do not eat or drink but pretend that you are eating and drinking. Eat beforehand, drink later with friends – this is not your feast. For an interpreter, a feast is work and, I repeat, very hard work.”
The answer to the question about alcoholic beverages is obvious because the translator needs to stay sober and maintain a reputation. But at a buffet table, it may be appropriate to constantly keep a half-filled glass so as not to be distracted by the waiters. As for food, it all depends on the situation: it should not distract from work, so it’s better to wait for a break.
The interpreter did not hear – it is better to ask again
Sometimes even professionals have situations when they did not hear the phrase or did not understand it the first time. Thinking or trying to guess so as not to seem insufficiently competent is not a good idea.
A translator does not become a non-professional when he was not afraid to ask again and admit that he did not immediately understand what was said. A “random translation”, in turn, can cross out all previous successes and leave an imprint on a career.
Preparing an interpreter for the event
The translator receives information about the event at which he will work in advance. If you have any questions or the information provided is not complete, it will not be superfluous to clarify all this. After all, it depends on the format of the event and the status of the guests how the interpreter will have to behave and look.
For example, high-level negotiations require from an interpreter, in addition to an impeccable knowledge of languages and etiquette, developed personal qualities, such as high stress resistance, determination and the ability to work in the spotlight. Of course, these qualities must be developed in any case, but the characteristics of an event may imply that certain personal qualities will need to be shown to a greater extent. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with these features in advance to calculate your capabilities and be psychologically ready for work.
It is important to keep in mind that there are stricter requirements for the appearance of VIP interpreters for court room interpretation. For example, clothes should not only be discreet and neat, but also of high quality, meeting international standards.
Just knowing where and for whom the translation will be carried out is not enough. To demonstrate professional behaviour, the consecutive interpreter should be aware of his/her place in relation to the speaker in advance. For example, during business receptions, he is at the table to the left of the speaker, but if translation is not required during a conversation at the table, the interpreter takes a seat to the side. When translation is needed, he sits behind and slightly to the side of the speaker. Standing or sitting is another matter.
Often, at official events, the location of all participants is strictly distributed depending on their status, and, moreover, this or that “arrangement of figures” may carry a certain connotation. Therefore, in order not to get into an awkward situation, you should pay attention to this.