Client vs Interpreter. What do they want from each other?

Welcome back to our blog! Are you ready for a new serving of authentic information from the world of interpreting? As we’ve already got you used to, we want to share you some of our know-how with you. We hope this will improve the client-interpreter relationship. We also hope to familiarise both the client and the interpreter with each other’s needs and expectations. This time, we will discuss interpreter travel from the perspective of both parties.

What does the client or their agency want?

Surely, we are all clients somewhere and we always want quality services at a very affordable price. What’s more, in the client-interpreter relationship, we sometimes want quantity to increase, too. That’s what a customer wants from an interpreter. But we are talking here about the oral rendering of a text from a source language into the language of the listener – or ‘target’ language.

This requires the interpreter to have a very good knowledge of the languages they work with; it also requires a good general knowledge of language and culture. At the same time, in the client-interpreter relationship, the interpreter must demonstrate the ability to deal with difficult situations. Sometimes their work involves unforeseen situations; the interpreter must listen and convey the message accurately and ensure that the language is fluent. Basically, the whole message of the event, the signing of a partnership, the mediation of a situation, depends on the interpreter. This means involvement and requires a lot of experience.

What does the interpreter want from his clients?

First, let’s look briefly at what it means for an interpreter to meet the client’s expectations in the client-interpreter relationship. That’s simple. The interpreter enables communication with the client’s partners of another nationality, from abroad. They provide interpreting services for business meetings, conferences, round tables, official dinners and events, foreign delegations, negotiations of any kind, auctions, job interviews or any type of domain that involves the need for translation.

All of these require the interpreter to travel wherever the client wants them. This means that they will offer their services both in the place where they usually work and outside that area or even outside the country. It is therefore very important what the client provides for the interpreter. This is necessary so that the interpreter can offer exactly the quality of service that is required of them.

The client-interpreter relationship – what are the interpreter’s needs?

Just as an employee asks for bonuses for achieving the goals of the department or even those of the company in which they work, and they want an environment that is conducive to efficiency, an interpreter needs to feel as comfortable as possible with the surroundings. In addition, the location and situation in which they are placed matters in order for them to perform excellently their job.

At the same time, it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that the interpreter is transported, accommodated and fed in decent conditions, wherever they are needed. How could anyone be productive, efficient and provide the best service if the interpreter’s journey to the destination took dozens of hours? Or if the transport was tiring, the accommodation was inadequate and so on? Any source of stress and discomfort can greatly diminish success for both parties. So here’s one of the main needs of the interpreter: decent conditions, regardless of where the event will take place.

In addition, any interpreter wants and needs to be forewarned about the profile of the work the client requires. The interpreter’s travel requires him to take his materials with him and to prepare accordingly. We promise to discuss this and many other interesting topics in a future article.

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