Introducing the Key Points for Selecting the Right Interpreter

Key Points to Remember for Finding the Right Interpreter

November 18, 2014

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The global nature of society today means that interpreters are now required in a variety of situations. There are also many methods of interpretation, not just one. Here, we will take a look at the keys to remember from a variety of angles for finding the right interpreter for your needs from among the large pool out there.

Three Classifications of Interpreters

First, let's begin by taking a look at the three different types of interpreters.

1. Languages

Each individual interpreter specializes in a certain language. While there are a large number of interpreters for in-demand languages such as English and Chinese, there are relatively fewer interpreters that specialize in languages with less demand. Therefore, you should begin preparations well in advance when requiring an interpreter for a more exotic language.

2. Genres

In most cases, an interpreter specializes in certain genres; for example, business interpretation, conference interpretation, broadcast interpretation or community-based interpretation, among others. Selecting an interpreter with a wealth of experience in the necessary field will give you peace of mind when entrusting them with your task.

3. Methods

Interpretation methods include consecutive translation, where the interpreter translates after the speaker has spoken a bit; simultaneous interpretation, where the interpreter translates into the target language at the same time as it is being spoken; and also whispering interpretation, where the interpreter whispers what is being said by the other party as it is being said.

What Should You Expect from Interpretation Companies?

Interpretation companies with a large stable of interpreters will be a big help when looking for an interpreter. However, what points should you keep in mind when selecting an interpretation company from among the large pool out there?

1. Reliability

You can't determine whether a company is really reliable just by viewing its website. You should talk to a staff member directly and ask a lot of questions. Be sure to thoroughly check if the person you are talking to knows what they are talking about and can back it up. If it's a reliable company, the person in charge should show their honesty and integrity when addressing your questions.

2. Interpretation Quality

The quality of interpreters employed by an interpretation company is one of the most important elements. What type of hiring standards does the company have? Does the company require interpreters to constantly improve their skills? How does the company verify such improvements? Through these various perspectives, you can verify the quality of the company's interpreters.

3. Management Policy

In addition to comparing a company's fee system with its peers, you should also thoroughly check in advance the company's policy on cancellation fees or compensation for no shows.

4. Customer Service

The quality of customer service should also be checked to determine if a company responds to emergencies or complaints in a professional and courteous manner. Be sure to thoroughly check this aspect, as many interpretation companies also provide various ancillary services outside of interpreting.

Find Out the Quality of Individual Interpreters

While it's important to check the quality of an interpretation company, how should you go about determining the quality of individual interpreters who will be performing the actual service?

There are various qualities that a good interpreter needs to have. One should be the ability to gather information. In interpretation work it is extremely important to have background knowledge concerning the business at hand. Therefore, an interpreter needs to be able to communicate effectively with the client and gain a sufficient amount of information. Be wary if an interpreter appears like they don't want to communicate or they aren't proactive in asking questions.


Interpreters play an important role in determining the direction of global business. To guide your business to success, you should be an active participant when hiring an interpreter as a client, from selecting the interpretation company to evaluating actual interpreters.

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