How Professional Language Services Enhance the Effectiveness of Housing an International Delegation
Is your firm, agency, organization, or university planning to host or house an international delegation? If so, it’s time to contract with an experienced, professional language services firm that specializes in interpretation and translation. To enhance your guests’ experience, achieve streamlined channels of communication during business and social events, and to facilitate diplomacy, it’s essential you know what to look for in prospective language service providers.
Think “conference” rather than “community”
Regardless of which side of the political divide you find yourself, America is in the international hot seat and has been for some time. While our country continues to hold a romantic ideal for many around the world, it is also true that even the most supportive, international “Americanophile” is wary and watchful around the political, religious, and racial climate here in the United States.
This is one of the most important reasons your company, industry, or academic organization should focus on finding conference interpreters with ample experience across multiple arenas, rather than community interpreters who are less qualified and less familiar with diplomatic protocol. You’re looking for a level of professionalism that goes beyond what the typical community or tour guide interpreters provide. Conversely, any conference interpreter you hire will happily don more casual attire as needed to act as social lubricant in between summits, conference sessions, or meetings.
Read our post The Difference Between Community Interpreters and Conference Interpreters to learn more about why conference is the keyword you’re looking for.
And if you will be converting print or marketing materials into your delegation’s native language(s), you’ll also want to employ native-speaking, professional translators.
Help delegates feel more connected to home
Not sure whether or not to bring an interpreter to your next meeting? Think about it this way: have you ever spent time outside of your nation, in a country that speaks an entirely different language and uses completely different body language? While it can be fun and exciting to answer countless questions about your country, your culture, and the socio-political spectrum that is the U.S., it can also be exhausting and a continual reminder that you are not at home. Speaking comfortably, and at ease, in our native tongue can be a restful balm in a foreign country.
While eager second-language learners may enjoy serving as an “interpreter,” because they know the language and want to learn more about the countries and cultures of your delegates, they cannot connect with your guests the way a native speaker or linguist can. If you’ve hired the right firm or linguists, they will have lived in the guests’ home country and culture may still have ties there, and can comfortably converse in a way that those who are only fluent cannot.
By providing guests with language service providers who interpret and translate cultural familiarity and nuance, along with spoken or written language, visitors will feel more at home while staying with you.
Receive important and fundamental cultural tips and suggestions
Your professional team of linguists will work with you and the other hosts, reviewing your materials and creating glossaries and style guides to ensure all of the interpreters and translators are on the same page, and you can make sure that the whole team is prepared for your next business meeting.
But, above and beyond this, we will assist your team in understanding some of the most important tenets of cultural, business, gift-giving, and hosting etiquette for your delegates’ respective homelands. Your awareness and respect for these differences, and the little extras you perform to accommodate and honor them, will go a long way in facilitating diplomacy.
Ensure your linguists honor the diplomatic road
Speaking of facilitating diplomacy, we can’t emphasize that point enough. Even if you’re not a savvy world-traveler, you know that conducting business in, say, France, may be very different from India or Japan. Again, eager community interpreters may be able to relay conversational and presentation tidbits word for word, but what are they saying when they’re asked direct questions about your organization, our nation, specific political beliefs, or opinions about current events? If you employ interpreters who do not have conference or political experience, you may never be aware of the damage that is done along the way.
America’s outspoken tendencies are not the norm in the majority of the world, particularly when one is outside of the home or in the domestic/international business arena. Your event should employ educated, qualified, and experienced linguists who understand how to facilitate diplomacy every step of the way. Don’t let your brand reputation suffer because an unprofessional translator or interpreter went off the cuff and answered direct questions with naively direct or unknowingly disrespectful answers – and especially not while working for you.
So, how do you know whom to hire?
Now that you know the “why” of hiring conference interpreters and experienced translation teams, it’s important to know the “how” of the process.
Click here to read a detailed post about exactly what to look for (and ask) when hiring a professional interpreter and/or translator to support your international delegation. If any delegates require sign language support, read What to Look For in an ISL Interpreter.
Largely, you’re looking for:
- Graduate-level education/degree from an accredited, university program
- Experience working as a simultaneous conference interpreter
- Membership in renowned industry organizations such as AIIC or TAALS
While a person’s or firm’s references are valuable, the Internet can be a simple way to verify all of the above – or not. The team of linguists here at Chang-Castillo and Associates is honored to be considered as a prospective language services provider while you’re hosting an international delegation. We have vetted, platinum-standard linguists available all over the world, serving virtually every language spoken on the planet. Contact us at +1 (877) 708-0005 to get answers to your questions and to obtain a competitively priced estimate for your upcoming event.