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Stories from a transeuro interpreter Part 2  

How to avoid common Issues when interpreting Japanese

There are many situations where an interpreter is needed. Accordingly, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, too, from communication errors to misunderstandings when interpreting. In this article, we explain how to avoid the most common issues.

The Interpreter does not get enough Information

If you know the schedule and the contents of an interpreting job you can prepare yourself sufficiently. The longer the job is or the larger the project is the harder preparation becomes.

There are times when the interpreter only gets the bare minimum on information and comes to the workplace without knowing much about the job.

When interpreting lectures, it can happen that the script arrives on the evening of the previous day. When working on larger projects schedules change and usually the interpreter is the last one that gets informed. Sometimes it even happens that the interpreter does not get informed at all and arrives with a client only to find out that the schedule changed.

But after all an interpreter is only a person behind the scenes and the skill to grasp important information from a short meeting before the job is essential.

Good and timely communication between the interpreter, the client and the agent can prevent trouble and make the life of everyone involved easier.

Skill of the Interpreter

An interpreter needs excellent language skills but as they work with spoken language it is hardly possible to avoid mistranslations completely. When the place of work is a tense international conference or a business meeting the atmosphere can become quite intense. When interpreting for workshops, at factories or at informal interviews, the interpreter can rephrase their translations and there are situations the interpreter can cover up with their wits.

By the way, converting large numbers from Japanese into other languages on the fly is not easy. The Japanese number system is different from the systems in Europe and America and when you also try to convert the currency from Yen to Euro or Dollar it can become quite confusing. Unfortunately, this is something the interpreter must practice until they master it.

Unexpected Accidents and Sickness

Even if you prepared sufficiently and work on your language skills there are unexpected accidents and disasters that you cannot avoid. In Japan, you should mostly be concerned about earthquakes. An earthquake that feels small for a Japanese person can cause a person that is not used to earthquakes to panic. In that case, it is important to help the client to calm down. Also, as an interpreter at times, you will have to accompany someone to a hospital due to accidents and sudden illnesses (injuries, fever, allergies, etc.). Being able to stay calm in such situations and act accordingly might a hidden skill that all interpreters should have.

In order to avoid unexpected trouble and carry out the work smoothly it is vital to have good communication between the client, the agent and the interpreter. At transeuro we make sure to communicate all the required information timely with our clients and interpreters. Try our service and enjoy a smooth interpreting experience.

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