|Article Title: RESEARCH SURVEY RESULTS|
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At Wagner International Consulting we have an ongoing commitment to support the global business community through consulting and language services. A major part of any global business today involves the translation of documents and interpretation of the spoken word. We support “Translatorpub.com” in their efforts to link qualified translation professionals with clients around the world.
As part of my current research project I contacted professional translators doing a survey of their top three things global business people should be aware of and demand from interpreters working for them.
The most common answers were reflected by one particular interview with FREEMAN WEEMS owner of “Southern Linguistics” in Memphis Tennessee, USA.
Mr. Weems is a professional Chinese-English translator and interpreter. He is a native English speaker with more than a decade of professional level Chinese language and translation training. His background includes a career in global sourcing and new product development backed up by a multiyear stay in China perfecting his craft.
Q; Let’s say I am going to do a business deal in China and need an interpreter /translator, what 3 things should I look for?
A1; “Demand that the interpreter call a spade a spade, and practice some basic business ethics.
Nothing should be altered, omitted, or added to what is actually stated. I have found that very few untrained interpreters follow this simple professional rule and either input their own opinions, or alter the content because they think you are too dumb to understand. The reality is that, if there is something you do not understand, you will naturally ask for clarification. But, if you were denied the opportunity to hear what was actually said, then the likelihood of misunderstanding increases exponentially.”
A2;” The interpreter should always refer to themselves in the third person. At that moment the interpreter should become the other person but with language skills. If the party you are conducting business with says, "I need 45 day payment terms", in language A; Then the interpreter should say, "I need 45 day payment terms", in language B. Not, "He wants 45 day payment terms". NEED and WANT have different meanings. Speaking in the 3rd person is a sure sign of additions or changes to what was actually said. This will have a negative impact on your business meeting and frustrations and misunderstandings will follow, without fail.”
A3;” Do not engage in conversation with the interpreter. Look at and speak directly to the party you are communicating with. If the interpreter is abiding by rules 1 & 2, this will go smoothly. Remember that the interpreter is simply that...not a decision maker. Their presence should be transparent. Maintaining this practice the interpreter no longer feels that they are speaking on behalf of either party and will deliver an unbiased, true interpretation.“
Mr. Weems goes on to offer further advice to freelance translators and interpreters in future posts on this website.
As for myself, an American businessman, having lived and worked in China for over 11 years (with minimal language skills) I can confirm that IF translation/interpretation services were consistently provided that followed the 3 requirements above it would be much easier to achieve my goals and objectives.
Post you comments and questions for discussion and for additional information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.