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Finding the Best Interpretation Services
The best interpretation services are provided by highly skilled professionals who are able to show emotional resilience in extreme circumstances, are good listeners, have an extensive vocabulary and are enthusiastic about perfecting their skill set. The services interpreters provide are used across a variety of industries in the United States like healthcare, corporate and small business, education, insurance, retail, and distribution. All across the country and in different venues, demand for interpretation is growing.
In 2015, the United States Census Bureau reported that 350 languages are spoken in American households, and that in major metropolitan areas with higher populations, there are more groups of exotic language speakers in 2013 than there were in 2009. This data is particularly relevant to the current status of the language services industry as we work to broaden our interpreter and client base.
The changing demographics of American households indicate that, the need for professional interpretation services is, and will continue to be, in demand. The varied languages shown in the Census report is a sign that language services are a necessity and will be a growing need in years to come. The best interpretation services are provided by companies that offer a diverse variety of service options such as telephone, video and in-person interpretation that apply to multiple settings, from legal proceedings to medical appointments.
6 Characteristics of the Best Interpreters
Finding a good interpreter is not only essential for healthcare facilities, legal firms, higher education or insurance companies, but for language service providers as well. Professional language agencies want to contract the best of the best to represent their brand to clients during appointments. However, it takes more than proper credentials to be best suited for the job.
Here are the “x-factor” characteristics of what makes an interpreter the best in the “biz.”
The best interpreters are not worried about going over or under the allotted time per assignment. This person is passionate about their craft and strives to improve their cognitive understanding of language. Good interpreters are committed to helping people, and understand that the service they deliver is more than word-for-word interpretation. It extends beyond that to a much deeper and meaningful cultural interaction. The services establish a human connection between two or more people who have the opportunity to further understand each other.
To be bilingual or multilingual is not the only prerequisite to become a professional interpreter. To be qualified, interpreters must complete advanced education and training programs to perfect their skill. In addition to language knowledge like dialects and vocabulary, industry specialization adds to the marketability of an interpreter’s skill set.
The specialization in complex terminology is particularly sought after in the medical and legal fields. In fact, some states have certification requirements in place for specific health or court situations. The rates for a state certified interpreter are generally a little higher because of advanced training and knowledge.
For instance, attorneys rely on legal interpreters to facilitate communication when a witness, defendant or plaintiff cannot communicate due to limited English proficiency or a speech or hearing impairment. The same goes for healthcare professionals. Many times they prefer the skills of a qualified medical interpreter to service their patients.
Did you know that interpreters are not considered part of the conversation? While they are physically present, their purpose is to enable communication between two or more people who do not speak the same language. With this in mind, the best interpretation services are delivered with the client’s privacy and security in mind. Confidential information is discussed during legal, healthcare, and insurance meetings. During such sessions, the interpreter is obligated to remain confidential before and after the conversation.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters abide by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf’s Code of Ethics. In addition, healthcare interpreters and service providers must adhere to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other compliance regulations. Professional interpreters with this type of training know the policies and how to abide by them in every circumstance encountered in the field.
4. People Skills
Being intuitive is the tell-tale sign of a good communicator. The best interpreters are trained to remain emotionally neutral during appointments. Being able to assess each situation to interpret word-for-word and to convey the emotions of the people they’re speaking for is a credible and highly respected skill. One day an assignment may be at a corporate meeting and the next day at a parent-teacher conference. It is important for an interpreter to be able to navigate both kinds of circumstances and provide effective communication facilitation no matter what the context.
5. Working Well Under Pressure
There is no right, wrong or preferred personality trait that makes a good interpreter. However, the best interpreters are people persons. They work well with others and can adapt to their surroundings. Since each appointment is different, it is crucial to be able to stay calm in different environments and anticipate what’s next and where the conversation is going.
6. Culturally diverse
Along with good people skills comes cultural knowledge. To be perceptive and communicative, interpreters must be culturally diverse to be able to accurately communicate. Body language, for example, is a variable that cannot be interpreted using the spoken word, but nonetheless can convey great meaning that may be culturally specific. Leading language services deliver precise interpretation of the spoken as well as the “non-spoken” word.
In conclusion, the best interpretation services are comprised of many factors surrounding the interpreter. With a growing population and increased language diversity, interpreter services will continue to be a hot commodity in the years to come.
For more information or to find an interpreter near you please call 800-726-9891 to speak with a representative.