Interpretation plays an important role in business negotiations when people don’t speak the same language and need help understanding each other. For this purpose, it’s vital to find an interpreter who has a great command of both languages and experience in negotiation situations.
He will also do his best to help you reach an agreement beneficial to both parties, with no room for misunderstandings or misinterpretations. Such types of interpretation include interpretation for negotiations and interpretation for exhibition that require thorough research, so this article will show you how to do it.
What is Interpretation for Negotiations?
Interpreting for negotiations can be particularly difficult as interpreters try to balance accurate interpretations, maintain neutrality, convey their own cultural biases, and keep both parties happy. Translators are often hired for interpretation for negotiations because they are expected to provide more neutral or less biased interpretations.
However, even translators are usually bilingual so they can be affected by their language knowledge. There is no perfect solution for interpretation in any negotiation, but using more than one interpreter can help reduce bias and improve accuracy. Using a team of professional interpreters that share responsibility equally helps ensure that you get an accurate interpretation for negotiation without biases coming into play.
Display Language vs. Working Language
One of our most common questions is about what’s called a working language? This can seem like an unusual concept—what could be more straightforward than a language? But working languages might need to be negotiated if you’re planning on working in another country. Why is there such a thing as a working language? In general, countries use different languages in different sectors of their economy. Some examples include:
- Belgium where they have three official languages: French, Dutch, and German.
- Canada, which uses both English and French.
- Switzerland, where four national languages are used regularly: German, French, Italian, and Romansh.
Since most countries prefer that people from other countries speak their native language, you may need an legal aid interpreter at your side during business meetings or events to do interpretation for negotiations.
So what’s a working language? It’s used in work areas where a country needs to interact with companies from abroad. For example, there are three working languages in Japan: English, French, and German. So Japanese speakers will often know all three—or at least two of them—and be able to switch back and forth as needed. Suppose you plan to do business in another country and think you might need an interpreter or best certified translator. In that case, both sides must clearly understand what will happen during each interaction.
Setting expectations with exhibitors and organizers
Your role for interpretation for exhibition or an event is to engage, inform, and entertain your audience. The conference organizer’s role is to ensure that your needs are met to meet those goals. Since language barriers can get in the way of both goals, presenters and organizers need to be aware of each party’s needs.
For example, suppose you know that French-speaking attendees will be joining your seminar tomorrow morning. In that case, it’s helpful for both parties if organizers can make sure there’s a certified interpreter on-site to perform interpretation for exhibition. As far as you’re concerned, an interpreter means more audience members — plus a greater likelihood that they’ll understand you (and vice versa).
Dealing with communication breakdowns
When we’re dealing with a client whose native language is different from ours, there will be moments of confusion or misunderstanding. This could stem from a number of factors—lack of proper translation or an incomplete understanding of what’s being discussed—but it usually boils down to just one thing: a communication breakdown. If you want your clients to feel valued, you mustn’t shy away from these moments; instead, address them head-on.
- The best way to deal with communication breakdowns is to be as clear as possible.
- Slow down if you know your client doesn’t understand what you’re saying.
- Speak more clearly and eliminate any jargon or acronyms that might be confusing your audience.
- Be sure that your client has ample time and space physically and psychologically.
- So they don’t feel rushed and aren’t under stress—to absorb everything you have to say.
Tips for interpreters working in exhibition booths
The booth space may look huge, but you won’t have much space once everything is set up. Make sure to bring along a folding chair or two so that you can take breaks while standing and any additional equipment (such as headphones) your company will require you to use.
When setting up your booth, and making sure that everything works correctly, give yourself plenty of time before your shift starts. Last-minute scrambling never helps anybody.
Also, try to be early if possible: Nothing is worse than arriving at a booth 10 minutes before your shift only to find out that there was a miscommunication about who was supposed to be there and when.
Last but certainly not least, don’t be afraid to leave your booth! You’re there to do more than just keep people from touching things. Interact with other exhibitors—even if it’s only for a short time before heading back to your booth—and have fun! Remember that you’re there to help promote products and services; don’t get so caught up in trying to explain every little thing about them that you forget how much fun it is just talking about all of them.
If someone has a question that your company didn’t send any materials or prepare any presentations, then take a few minutes to talk it through. It might even turn into a new potential business relationship!
The Bottom Line
Suppose you need an interpreter in a business or other professional setting. In that case, it’s best to make sure that he/she has experience interpreting for that particular context. An experienced interpreter may charge more per hour than a novice but will likely be worth every penny.
Any decent conference-interpreting firm should be able to provide you with an experienced interpreter who specializes in your kind of event (cultural or technical). You might also consider asking seasoned colleagues who have already worked with interpreters on similar projects if they can recommend one.