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What information to provide when you need interpreters?

Do you need interpreters to translate orally at your event? To call on interpreters is easy with specialized companies. For a trade show, a conference, a training session, a factory visit, a congress or a meeting, solutions will be offered to you.

You will need to provide information at two different stages, that is when you request a quote and then just before the event.

    – Information to provide at quote time

    – Information to provide before the event

You organize an event that involves international speakers or attendees? Interpretation aka verbal translation to and from foreign languages will be required? Let’s see what information is useful for an interpretation service.

A few preliminary remarks:

  1. Your translation and interpretation company is able to provide you with all you need, as long as what you need is well defined and detailed enough.
  2. This company will use interpreters who specialize in your industry and who translate into their native language. Many interpreters can translate in both directions.
  3. The project manager ensures communication between the client, the team of interpreters and the technicians.
  4. Interpreters are dedicated experts who need time and resource materials to prepare for interpreting assignments.

For the interpreting service quote, what will the translation company ask?

The following is a typical list of questions asked by an interpreting services company in order to establish an interpretation quote:

– What is the field and/or subject matter? You can give a general field, such as medical, or specify the subfield in medical, such as cardiology if your event gathers cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. The latter is recommended because the more precise you are, the better in order for project managers to select the interpreting professionals you need. Think about the name of the event as this is also useful information.

– What are the languages that need to be translated orally? More specifically, you are looking for services from what language(s) i.e. the source languages, to what language(s) i.e. the target languages?

– Do you need consecutive, conference or liaison interpreting? Basically, consecutive interpretation refers to the oral translation after the speaker is done speaking; conference interpretation aka simultaneous interpretation refers to almost instant oral translation; and liaison interpretation refers to the oral translation done at regular intervals. Your language service provider can provide tailored advice to assist you in opting for the right type of interpreting based on your event (such as a business meeting; a conference; a training; a fair or else).

– What are the dates and number of hours/days? Do you anticipate any work at night time?

– Is the event online/remote or on site? Your answer will help to understand if transportation and accommodation are needed. Alternatively a remote event will imply to have information on the video conference platform, passwords, and so on.

– Do you need technical equipment? The technical equipment is up to the event’s type and size. A variety of equipment can be used, depending on your expectations and needs. Your translation company can help you choose the most suitable interpreting equipment.

What is the information that interpreters need to have ahead of your event?

When you requested a quote, you likely provided some of that information. A few days before the event, the goal is to gather even more details so that the translation company can share them with the interpreters. It makes a huge difference in terms of preparedness and organization process. The success of an interpreting job relies tremendously on preparation and the more information you provide to the interpreters, the better.

Here’s our list of crucial information that interpreters need:

– A final schedule of your event that shows dates and times, as well as the speakers’ names including their role;

– A detailed content program, including a short description and the titles of all the sessions, presentations or discussions;

– Reference materials which may consist of PowerPoint presentations, websites, brochures or other resources that will be used during the event;

– Your company or organization’s glossary, terminology database, or any foreign languages handout if you have such resources;

– The icing on the cake? You provide the outlines of the lectures and speeches, or even the full content!

Finally, make sure that you share all last-minute changes and updates to your interpreters, whether it is the location i.e. room or floor number, the names of the speakers or even the topic of a talk.

This article has been written by Marilène Haroux

Marilène was previously an Academic and a Translator. At Cultures Connection she used to be the Vendor Manager as well as Bid Manager. Now Marilène is the Bid and Communications Manager.