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Working with Interpreters in a Professional Setting

Interested in this eLearning Program?

As the world becomes infinitely more connected, companies and organizations must adapt to a changing workforce. International expansion helps diversify client bases and hiring opportunities—but how to overcome the language barrier?

The interpreting industry plays an enormous role in company expansion, bringing language and cultural knowledge to the table. It can be difficult adjusting to working with an interpreter as the intermediary and facilitator for your conversation. At Global Arena, we’ve used our decades of language service and cultural integration experience to create a course to help.

Working with Interpreters in a Professional Setting is designed to help your team build a foundation to work with multilingual populations. Whether you’re at a business meeting with a new client or expanding your workforce overseas, you’ll need proper language support.

Our eLearning course will help your employees gain the confidence to work effectively with interpreters, leading to proper communication flow. When working properly with an interpreter, the interpreter effectively disappears. This allows your conversation to proceed as though you didn’t have to use an interpreter at all. Our goal is to help you achieve this level of communication with only 45 minutes of instruction.

What is an interpreter?

To understand the importance of working properly with an interpreter, it’s necessary to know what an interpreter does. One of the most common misconceptions in the Interpreting field is that any foreign language speaker can be an interpreter. Interpreting is a career and an industry that requires specialized knowledge and vocabulary in a number of fields. It also requires hours of training and preparation, a high level of professionalism, and a thorough understanding of the industry.

An interpreter exists to be a language conduit between a professional service provider and a person who requires those services. As such, an interpreter speaks in the first person, interpreting every word that is uttered. They also convey the mood and/or tone of the speaker. The interpreter is not an active part of the conversation. The only exception is when they’re stepping out of the role of an interpreter to make a cultural clarification. If this is the case, the interpreter will literally step forward. They’ll say, “May the interpreter make a cultural clarification?” They’ll then explain a point, step back, and continue the session.

Interpreters work in a variety of settings

Interpreters are trained to work in a variety of settings, including medical, legal, and business. Most interpreters work with consecutive interpreting, rather than simultaneous interpreting. Consecutive interpreting is performed in smaller settings, such as appointments, reviews, or meetings with fewer than ten people. In consecutive interpreting, the provider speaks, then pauses for the interpreter to relay the information in the target language. They then wait for the person speaking the target language to respond. The interpreter interprets the response into the provider’s language.

A simultaneous interpreting session is typically reserved for large conferences. A team of at least two interpreters switch back and forth in predetermined intervals (ex: fifteen minutes). They work with specialized audio equipment that delivers audio of the interpreter speaking in the target language. All target-language-speaking participants wear headsets to hear the interpreter. This system delivers a direct interpretation of a speaker’s words as the speaker continues to deliver their speech. There is no pause and the interpreter tries to keep the lag time to below three seconds. This means that the interpreter is hearing the speaker’s words and interpreting them immediately while hearing the next words. Simultaneous interpreting requires years of study and practice.

Course Description

The course consists of two modules, both with interactive comprehension and review activities. The information is fully reviewable: after completing a slide, a participant can revisit it at any time. The course concludes with a final review, an exam, and a certificate upon completion and a passing exam result.

Each module consists of a mix of informational slides, including those in interactive and lecture formats. This engages participants and encourages broad application of the material. The variety of different slides is not only visually appealing: it’s designed to target different learning styles. The course is also fully voiced, further encouraging retention.

Course Topics

After giving you a firm foundation in your knowledge of the role of an interpreter, we’ll cover additional topics, including:

  • The different levels of qualification in the interpreting industry: We’ll discuss different types of interpreters, helping you decide which best suits your needs.
  • The hiring process for foreign language interpreters: You’ll have a brief overview of the hiring process for a foreign language interpreter. This includes information about how to choose a language-services company.
  • How an interpreting appointment works: From start to finish, you’ll know what to expect from your interpreting session.
  • How to properly request an interpreter: This section is designed to teach you how to request the right kind of interpreter to fit your needs.
  • Best practices for working with interpreters: Working comfortably with interpreters is a skill that takes practice to hone. We’ll jump-start that skillset with tips for working with your interpreters most efficiently and appropriately.

Duration and Format

Working with Interpreters in a professional setting is timed for forty-five minutes. The course is accessible from our eLearning platform. As it’s streamed entirely online, it requires no downloads or special permissions. It’s available for independent contractors, employers, and anyone who would like to learn more about working with interpreters.

As an employer, there’s another advantage to using our system: you’re able to track your employees’ progress and completion rates. If you’re working as an independent contractor, you can access your account any time and see your status. Registration also includes full access to our course catalogue and resources.

We regularly update the course to include the latest interpreting theory research and experiences. Once you’ve purchased the course, you have lifetime access to updates and support. You’ll also receive notifications when we update the course and add supplementary materials. Courses in your account have no expiration date. You can re-take them as many times as you’d like. You can also download your certificates at any time. Our eLearning courses are easily accessible from your mobile device.

If you’re working with an organization, Working with Interpreters in a Professional Setting is further customizable to fit your team’s needs. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or for more information.