8 Things You're Doing Wrong With Our Interpreters
Not booking enough interpreting time.
In face to face consecutive interpreting, the multilingual Interpreter repeats everything you and the non-English speaker says in the other language, so your meeting will literally take twice as long.
So, if you anticipate that the meeting would take an hour, you’ll need to book us for 2 hours.
Asking Interpreters to do things other than interpreting.
Interpreters are a tool. They are used to communicate the meaning of what you are saying to the non-English speaker - and nothing else. They should not give advice (either to you or to the non-English speaker), provide examples of other similar situations, share anecdotal experiences or do any other type of work for you. This includes sight translations, which should only be carried out with prior notice to us. We aren’t being awkward here - some Interpreters do not read / write the language they can speak.
Not breaking speech down into manageable chunks.
If you deliver a long stream of content, the Interpreter will have difficulty in remembering the whole thing and the details - this could then result in them not relaying it accurately.
Not understanding that some languages use more words than others.
In some languages it takes many more words to say the same thing than in English. Therefore incorrect expectations of how long it takes to interpret things can lead you to believe that the Interpreter is saying something you didn’t. This is usually not the case.
Of course the same then goes vice versa - if an interpretation is short, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Interpreter has missed something out.
Organising important booking details directly with the Interpreter.
We are your booking contacts and manage all of these details - therefore if you only liaise with the Interpreter, things just don’t get done! Cancellations, rearrangements and illnesses can cause issues for you and this is exactly what Talking Heads manages - often without you even realising or going to any trouble yourself.
Expecting the Interpreter to wait inside a private home.
Interpreters should, and are instructed to, wait outside and should not go in without you. This is for Health & Safety, responsibility and often, safeguarding reasons. It would also be great if you could provide clear instructions on meeting places in large public buildings – courts, hospitals etc. Lots of time (and money) gets wasted if not.
Not allowing time for introductions.
At the beginning of a session or meeting, the Interpreter needs to explain their role to the service user (and that everything will be interpreted and interpreting is the only thing the Interpreter can do).
Not accurately completing timesheets.
The Interpreter deserves to be paid accurately for their service and you deserve to be invoiced properly - this is only possible with the accurate completion of information on the Timesheet. Talking Heads also uses timesheets to request quality information - ensuring our stellar service can continue and action is taken on the rare occasion that something goes wrong.
Let us show you how a proper agency does it.
Our extensive quality and efficiency processes are the reason why our customer rate is so highly. We look forward to working with you!