Interpreter Don’ts: How to Avoid Interference for More Quality Interpretations


A session or appointment with a face to face or telephonic interpreter needs to run as smoothly as possible to maximize efficiency.  You might not realize it, but an interpreter’s job is extremely demanding, and the way we interact with them has the potential to cause or add stress, or even prolong the session. What can we do to avoid interference and deliberate disruptions, ensuring quality interpretations so that everyone mutually benefits from time with a professional certified interpreter?

Question the Interpreter: When hiring a professional certified interpreter,  you can rest assured they’ve received necessary language and technical skill education, as well as passed and obtained current certifications for your state. If you stop the session to inquire what they interpreted to the other party, the interpreter will have to answer you, then interpret to the others in the meeting or appointment what you asked. Stopping the session will only cause unnecessary delays, not to mention frustration to all involved.

 Argue/use the interpreter to defend you: Sometimes we need an interpreter in a mediation type situation, where high tensions and emotions may flare up. While hiding emotions in some cases may be hard, it’s important to remember your interpreter is there to be a neutral presence, and shouldn’t be brought into the middle of the discussion.  Turning to the interpreter for advice, or trying to get them to side with you will only hold up the appointment when the interpreter or other people in the party have to stop and redirect the conversation.

 Ask the interpreter go beyond the original assignment: There are instances when an interpreter and the client may have agreed on a locked amount of time. In some cases, the job for an interpreter is not over until satisfaction with a meeting or appointment has been met. Because of this, it’s important to be conscious of time and to not spring extra work or try to squeeze in anything other than what was agreed on before the appointment or meeting.

 Lack of prep tools for the interpreter:  In some situations, like  an emergency, there is no way to fully prepare your interpreter before they begin. If you have an appointment and are able, sending the interpreter prep information before they arrive can prevent spending time before the meeting or appointment to go over the material and ensure the most quality interpretations.

Taking steps to ensure that the interpreter’s role is acknowledged will make for a positive session with the highest quality interpretations. If you’re looking for a professional certified interpreter for your next meeting or appointment, allow Telelanguage to assist you. With over 20 years in the language service industry, we are backed up by a team of over 4,000 certified interpreters knowledgeable in 300+ languages.  We provide professionalism and expertise, as well as speedy connections and reliable service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Now, for even faster connections to a live interpreter wherever you’re at worldwide, download our free app for iPhone here!


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