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Working with Interpreters

Before scheduling an interpreter
It is important to provide as much information as possible about the subject matter, intended audience, time schedules, and the environment where the interpreter will be working before scheduling an interpreter. This will facilitate the selection of the most appropriate interpreter(s) for the task and will help them better prepare for the event so that they can better serve your needs.
Before the interpreter is scheduled to arrive
  • Make sure that the location where the interpreter is to arrive is accessible and that the appropriate people are notified to allow entry for the interpreter, if applicable.

  • If the location may be difficult to find, make sure that the interpreter is provided with clear directions and/or make sure the location is clearly marked with temporary signage.

  • Make sure that the interpreter will have a place to sit.

  • If interpreting equipment will be supplied by you or another provider, make sure that the equipment has been set up in advance, or at least is ready to be used.

After the interpreter arrives
  • Identify yourself as the client.

  • Identify the intended audience for the interpreter, and preferably introduce him to them.

  • Introduce the interpreter to speakers if he will be working closely with them.

  • Let the interpreter know where you want him to sit, stand, or move, if necessary, during the event.

  • If interpreting equipment will be supplied by you or another provider, make sure to allow for time to equip the audience and the interpreter.

Working well with interpreters
  • Speakers should be informed that their speech will be interpreted and they should be advised to speak clearly and avoid rushing.

  • Flexibility is appropriate if the interpreter should signal a speaker to slow down or to pause to allow for time to complete an interpretation.

  • Due to the physically demanding nature of interpreting, please allow for reasonable break times.

  • Interpreters will appreciate any courtesy accommodations such as parking, restrooms, drinking water, and the availability of nearby dining facilities.

Making good use of interpreting services
Plan ahead to schedule interpreters only during the time that they will be needed. Work time for an interpreter begins when scheduled and ends when interpreting has been completed.

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