If you thought your interpreters were mere language assistants, think again!
First, it’s important to understand who you are hiring for your interpretation engagements. Language interpreters spend a tremendous amount of time and effort learning language and culture (culture defines language to a great extent). First class interpreters usually learn their language skills in the country of the language they’re studying. This means that, in addition to mastering cultural fluency, they also have, for example, solid knowledge of the local business environment.
This knowledge can be particularly valuable to you. Here’s a true story I hope will drive this point home. The owner and CEO of a German firm was ready to give up on registering his company name in Japan. He lamented the fact that a local company registered the name first. Corporate registration laws are different in Japan: Any company can have the same name as, say Honda, as long as it is registered in a different administrative ward (naturally, copyright laws still apply). Now, if this CEO had not confided in me his interpreter, he would have registered something else thus diluting the considerable brand equity his company had built up internationally.
Interpreters are much more than assistants to help you transcend the language barrier. Think organization, strategizing, consulting in a field in which they are experts. Make full use of the wealth of information that embodies your language interpreter.
About the Author
Ivan Vandermerwe is the CEO of SAECULII YK (Tokyo Japan), the owner of SAECULII Interpretation Services, Japan (Tokyo). Visit SAECULII for the latest professional articles and news on English Japanese interpretation services
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