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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Jimenez Jimenez

The Art of Engaging with Clients: An Effective Strategy to Prepare for an Interpretation Session

Welcome back, everyone! We're happy you've decided to return to stay updated on all the latest interpreting and translation trends! In our last blog post, Translation vs Interpretation, we shared some insight into the difference between interpreting and translating.

In this post, we're sharing insights on some effective ways to prepare ahead for an interpreting session, how to establish a rapport with your client, and how to ensure that the interpretation is accurate, effective, and culturally correct.

Preparing with Client's for an Interpretation Session

Before you meet with a client, it is essential to prepare thoroughly. This involves providing the client with the necessary materials, such as agendas, presentations, and essential documents, in advance. It is also important to provide the client with important background information, such as key terms or concepts that may come up during the session or any cultural information that may be relevant to the conversation, such as appropriate hello’s and/or customs.

Building a Rapport With First Time Clients

Once you have prepared for the interpretation session, it’s imperative to remember to build a rapport with the client! After getting done with mutual introductions, you should also establish a communication protocol, such as signaling for moments when the client needs you to slow down, repeat something, or have any general questions or concerns. Not only is building a relationship with the client can help ensure the interpretation is accurate and effective, especially in real-time, but you’re more likely to build trust; and, as a result, have a repeat client! Even more, you’ll more likely only have to establish interpreting cues and communication norms once- so make sure it’s intentional!

Tips for Accurate and Effective Interpretation

During the interpretation session, it is important to speak clearly and concisely. Also, it's better to refrain from using colloquialisms or cultural idioms that the client may not know about or may be difficult to understand. Make sure to speak at a steady pace and avoid interrupting the clients as much as possible. If you are unsure whether the interpretation is accurate, remember your communication cues, and don’t be afraid to ask the client to clarify or repeat what they have said. Remember, the client is expressing their thoughts or concerns to the engaged parties, so it’s important that their feelings and message are conveyed as accurately as possible.

Communicating Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can play a significant role in communication with an interpreting client. For example, it may be considered impolite in some cultures to make direct eye contact, while in others, it may be a sign of respect. Similarly, different cultures may have different communication styles, such as a preference for indirect communication or a focus on nonverbal cues.

In one of our recent articles, Euphemism and Slang: The Words with Sneaky Meanings, we explored how words can have several meanings. This is especially true when words are borrowed from other cultures and languages, as explained in our article, Language Translation: Amidst a language evolution. So, that's why we can't express enough the importance of being aware of these differences and considering them when communicating.

Final Thoughts

Effective communication with a client really requires careful preparation, a good rapport, and clear and concise communication. By following these tips and best practices, you can ensure that your message is accurately conveyed and that the interpretation is effective.

Additionally, awareness of cultural differences can help ensure respectful and appropriate communication and a happy interpreting relationship!

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