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What to Consider when Hiring an Interpreter

Globalization has caused an increased need for translators and interpreters for many situations ranging from business and academic conferences to travel and tourism events. When you need to communicate in any situation, it is important to focus on certain aspects to make the most of the experience for you and for the audience. An excellent interpreter can convey your message in an appropriate way to your audiences, but an incorrect or poor interpretation can damage your brand’s reputation and fail to convey your message.

In this blog, I will cover some of the most important aspects to consider when hiring an interpreter.

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Specify Your Subject Matter

Is your topic highly technical? Does your audience speak a certain dialect? Are the terms you will be using industry-specific? These are just a few of the questions your team should be able to answer before you begin looking for an interpreter.

It is important to select an interpreter who is not only an expert in the language and locale, but also the subject matter and industry. This is especially important for highly technical subjects, like medical, legal and manufacturing content. Knowing what type of translator you are looking for will help you select the right person and make any necessary arrangements before the event.

Consecutive or Simultaneous?

Depending on your event and budget, you will need to arrange a method of interpreting: simultaneous or consecutive. This will also determine if your interpreter will require equipment, like headsets.

  • Simultaneous interpreting: the interpreter hears the message and delivers it through a microphone connected to other headsets, which allows the audience to hear the message in their own language, simultaneously.
  • Consecutive interpreting: after the speaker finishes a sentence, the interpreter delivers it in the requested language. No equipment is required for this.

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Be Clear on the Contract Terms

Clearly state the requirements you need from your interpreter. Define your subject matter, language pairs, timeline and schedule, interpretation method and pricing terms. Have all of this information in writing and agreed upon by both parties. Maintain clear communication channels with your interpreter leading up to the event and after the event to discuss how the interpretation went.

Make Interpreters Part of Your Team

Plan to meet your interpretation team in advance. This will help you make sure the team is proficient in the language combination and subject matter and it will allow you to brief them on the topics, methods and share or discuss reference materials.


Bilingual environments can be a great challenge for everyone involved. But they also present the opportunity to introduce a new product, share the results of research or expand your brand recognition to larger global audiences. By selecting the right interpreter, you will be able to ensure your approach is professional and your message is being effectively and appropriately conveyed.