Interpreting at business meetings in London

Have you ever wondered about what role interpreters and translators play before/during and after business meetings between speakers of different languages who have a common interest in mind?

How will an interpreter help in an international business meeting?

In our globalised world, networking is going beyond national borders as businesses are able to reach international clients, customers, suppliers and partners.

As in any type of human relations, communication plays a key role in business meetings.  Communication is essential for selling a product, understanding a market, developing an advertising campaign, relating to colleagues, managing a team, sharing opinions and growing your network.
Effective communication techniques are required under strict time constraints during regular business meetings in all types of specialist sectors and industries.
If the participants of a meeting speak different languages, an interpreter will be required to make communication possible.

It is important that- before hiring an interpreter- the purpose of the meeting is clearly defined, as well as the main ideas that will be discussed and the key topics that will be developed. Decide whether you will need to circulate documentation or to show slides or presentations and if they will need to be translated in the language of the rest of the attendees. Bear in mind that extra time should be added to the estimated duration of the meeting if consecutive interpreting services are required. Provide reference material and background information about the meeting to the interpreter. Remember that the language professional is not an employee of your business and will need to get familiar with any jargon, specific terminology, names of products, and names of people or organisations which may be mentioned in the meeting.

Explain to the rest of the participants that the presence of an interpreter means that they will need to endeavour to share their comments in a concise and clear manner and that the interpreter will render their ideas after they make pauses throughout their speech.
In meetings with Latin American or Spanish speakers, address the participants directly as if they understood your message. Try to establish rapport by connecting with the rest of the people in the meeting taking into consideration their cultural conventions (exchange of business cards, firm hand-shake, and eye contact - depending on what is culturally accepted in terms of body language in their country of origin).

The aim of the interpreter is to facilitate communication and ensure that the exchange of opinions in a meeting goes smoothly despite the linguistic barriers that may exist.
By getting organised before the meeting, providing specific details and reference materials to the interpreter and by contacting a qualified language professional, you could rest assured that your meeting will run successfully and you will achieve your desired objectives.

If you need advice about interpreting solutions for business meetings between English and Spanish speakers, please contact Jaquelina Guardamagna, CIOL Chartered Linguist |
English-Spanish Translator and founder of Translator in London


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