Interpretation services are different in scope and audience. However, the final goal remains the same: to bridge any linguistic gaps in verbal communication so that all customers receive the same level of care and service.
When choosing an interpretation service for your organization, the question is, how can I match a customer with the proper interpretation services? You’ll want to collaborate with a language solutions provider that understands the ins and outs of your industry and can provide accurate, localized, and timely interpretation services.
In this article, we review the four most common red flags to look out for so you can find a solution that brings an excellent user experience for all of your customers.
Does your current interpretation service provider ask about your unique industry needs? This step is very essential from the beginning. Without content awareness, interpreters may misinterpret crucial information. It’s especially true for niche industries as they require the expertise of interpreters with relevant experience to explain jargon and phraseology.
For instance, interpreters in the legal or insurance industry must have a comprehensive understanding of technical language specific to contractual terms and agreements. Other industries are constantly evolving, such as in the technology space. Interpreters must ensure subject matter experts or demonstrate their level of industry expertise related to new technologies, integrations, and thought leadership to provide consumers with quality customer service at every stage.
In addition to specific industry knowledge, you also want to work with a language service provider whose interpreters consider cultural nuance carefully. High-quality interpretation services must be competent in the following areas:
Dialects, accents, and localized language
You’ll need to have a detailed breakdown of the linguistic populations your organization serves so you can provide interpretation solutions specific to the target language and dialect.
Colloquial language including idioms, expressions, and slang
Limited English proficiency (LEP) customers may use informal language that the interpreter must be familiar with to interpret from the source language into the target language.
Cultural awareness as it relates to traditions, customs, gestures, and facial expressions
Cultural context is critical to providing accurate and complete linguistic interpretation.
Interpreters must sometimes relay the meaning or spirit of a conversation, rather than a literal translation. For example, when it comes to interpretation services in the healthcare industry, accurately conveying the advice of a medical professional to a patient is the most important. Misinterpretation in the healthcare field causes major problems. At the very least, it can not only cause confusion but also lead to more devastating effects, such as a patient not understanding their treatment plan or even their medical diagnosis.
Beyond the language interpretation itself, interpreters must be mindful of external—albeit associated—cultural considerations such as body language, hand gestures, and eye contact. Even the age or gender of the interpreters themselves can have cultural implications that interpreters should be aware of. For instance, some female patients may prefer an interpreter of the same gender, especially when discussing sensitive healthcare matters.
Some interpreters work in an in-office environment, while others may work remotely. Firstly, you need to ensure that their interpreters have the proper equipment at their disposal to provide high-quality interpretation.
Interpretation services must provide easy-to-use audio and recording equipment that is compatible with a variety of devices. Before conducting simultaneous or consecutive interpreting, interpreters need to make sure the audio quality is good. A lack of technical equipment compromises the quality of any interpretation service. Check with your language provider to get familiar with the type of equipment interpreters will be using regularly.
Without the proper audio equipment, interpreters could mishear the source language. The same goes for customers in the target language. Language service providers need to make sure their interpreters have the right tech at their disposal. Proper staff resourcing and robust interpretation technology guarantee the best user experience possible for you as the customer.
Most organizations request interpretation based on the current linguistic demographics. However, the linguistic demographics of the customer base are constantly shifting and language service providers must be adapted accordingly.
Language service providers must be flexible with the interpretation solutions they offer. Therefore, they can accommodate a diverse range of languages that accurately reflect the needs of the local community. The same goes for regional dialects and language localization efforts. Scalability is key. As linguistic populations shrink and grow, a language provider’s solutions must adapt accordingly.