At some point, if a manager must take periodic trips to a subsidiary in another country, it’s a good idea to learn the language fairly fluently. However, in the beginning and for rare trips, using native interpreters who understand business communications is a must for success. There’s a difference between using native and non-native interpreters, and a difference between interpreters who understand business and those who
Imagine for a moment how it would feel to be in a meeting in another country knowing only a little of the language. You expected someone there to provide an interpreter and, indeed, they did. But that person doesn’t know much more English than you know of their language. They’re a relative of the man you’re meeting, and quickly you realize they’re not used to being in a business setting.
Every frown you see as you speak, you will worry about. Every snicker someone makes you’ll likely take personally. Every time the interpreter stumbles will make you suspicious, especially if the relationship between your countries is tense. Whatever your interpersonal fears, they’ll be magnified by the uncertainty of communication. Whatever defenses you have will kick in. You may withdraw, get pushy, start glowering, or become unnecessarily cajoling. None of this helps the others trust you, nor is it conducive to a productive meeting.
Experienced managers avoid this situation, especially when they know that help is available. And it is. In the past, having your own interpreter present was key to success, but costly. These days, with the advent of conference video technologies, having an interpreter on the call does not cost as much, and still is key to success. Interpreters who know a language like a native also know its nuances. Often they can interpret gestures that go along with the words, i.e. body language, and adjust their interpretations accordingly.
Interpreters who know your business know the business jargon in the other language as well, and recognize business concepts that have no equivalent words in the other language. They know how to convert business concepts into words that managing partners can understand.
There may still be snickers or frowns, but you can adjust quickly to relieve them. Your interpreter will help. Dialog One has 2,000 interpreters to choose from, speaking over 150 different languages. You can ask specifically for what you want and we will find someone who fits. Call us.