When taking the first steps towards exporting your products or services, the importance of using professional interpreters cannot be underestimated. If you need to participate in a meeting to negotiate an important contract you will need to understand what is being said. Similarly, if you have to host a visit for a group of overseas investors, you will need to be able to explain your business and what it can offer.
These are the moments that can make or break a sale and let’s face it, if you cannot communicate in the same language how are you ever going to win that contract?
If you don’t have the relevant language skills yourself, or within your organisation, then you may miss out on opportunities to win new clients at meetings, negotiations, overseas trade fairs and exhibitions. Hiring a professional interpreter, either from the UK or once you are overseas, can improve communications with non-English speaking contacts, whether you just want to break the ice or explain in depth what your business can offer them.
You can hire interpreters who are based in the country you are travelling to by enquiring at the local embassy. Alternatively, you can take a UK-based interpreter with you for the assignment, in which case you should contact your local Chamber of Commerce or Regional Language Network.
Interpreting is a complex process and you will need to ensure you know what kind of interpreting you require – i.e. conference or business. If you need your interpreter to be knowledgeable about certain technologies make this clear from the start as all interpreters specialise in different industries.
When using interpreters you should speak slowly and concisely to allow your interpreter to clearly relay what you have said to your foreign counterparts. Jargon, jokes and overuse of technical terms should be avoided as these often don’t translate and could confuse your non-English speaking contacts.
Interpreters will appreciate having access to any materials to be used during the conference, exhibition or meeting, as this will allow them to prepare for the assignment. It will also enable them to translate any technical terminology and make sure things run smoothly. In short, your interpreter will be grateful for any input prior to the event so keep the lines of communication open!