5 Surprising Things That You Should Not Expect From Your Conference Interpreters


When you hire conference interpreters to work for you at an important event, you need to know that they are capable of doing their jobs professionally and effectively. There are some expectations you should have for things that they will do, as well as expectations for what they will not do. Here are five of the biggest issues you shouldn’t expect to have to deal with from your conference interpreters:

1. A Lack of Understanding of Languages

You would think that interpreters, by the very definition of what they do, would have a strong understanding of the languages they interpret to and from. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; plenty of interpreters have the ability to understand languages, but lack the skills necessary to truly localize their messaging. An effective interpreter needs to take into account not just the words that are spoken, but also the dialects, phrase structures and speaking styles of the languages in use. Make sure to find an interpreter who can handle this task.

2. Not Being Responsive Enough

There is no doubt that the best interpreters will be busy, but you should still expect that they will be able to get back to you within a reasonable timeframe. It can be extremely frustrating for someone who is planning a conference to not have their language services secured; for this reason, you need to ensure your interpreters respond quickly enough for you to continue making plans for your conference in a timely manner.

3. Having Trouble Following Instructions

Depending on the nature of the conference, interpreters might be called upon to move around, change the person who they are interpreting to/from, or partake in the events of the conference in other ways. You should not expect your interpreter to have trouble with these instructions; in fact, skilled conference interpreters will be able to do their work from a variety of places, which helps open up the possibilities of your conference.

4. An Inability to Adapt to Event Happenings

Conference interpreters must be able to react in the moment if something happens unexpectedly. For example, if a speaker is interrupted or there is a technical error, interpreters must know what to do so that attendees of the event are not alarmed and continue to be engaged in the conference. An interpreter who cannot react to events on the fly is one you probably will not want at your event.

5. Unfamiliarity With Technology

From laptops to microphones, to headsets and streaming connections, there are many different forms of technology that are used in modern interpreting. The most dependable conference interpreters have a good sense of how to use these tools in an effective way. If your interpreter cannot grasp this technology, it is probably a good sign they will not be as effective as they could be with conference interpreting.

There is a lot of work that goes into planning a successful conference. In an ideal situation, your conference interpreters will make less work for you, not more. Take your time and look for interpreters who do not make these five mistakes so that your next conference needing interpreting services can go off without a hitch.


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