Working with an Interpreter
Please note we refer to consumers as those individuals we are interpreting for and clients as those individuals who requested the interpreter/s. Natural Languages recognizes that working with interpreters and interpreting agencies is a new experience for many people. To familiarize you with what to expect and how to work with interpreter/s, the following points might be helpful:

|  When interpreters arrive on site, they will seek out the contact person to direct them to where the interpreter needs to go.

|  It is helpful, and makes communication smoother, if you provide the agency (whenever possible) with a copy of the materials/terminology that will be used during the meeting or presentation.

|  When speaking with the consumer please direct your comments to him/her (not to the interpreter). Speak at a normal pace. If your speech is rapid, the interpreter may ask you to repeat or to slow your pace to make sure that all your comments are being conveyed completely.

|  Understand that the interpreter will interpret all communication that occurs. Yes including the side comments. If you do not want the interpreter to interpret be sure the interpreter cannot hear you.

|  Allow only one person to speak or sign at a time.

|  Interpreting is mentally and physically demanding and interpreters may require occasional breaks. Assignments that are two hours or more in length require a team of interpreters.

|  For the Deaf consumers only, it is helpful for the interpreter to be shown the room arrangements prior to the event so that optimal visual communication can occur. The interpreter may offer suggestions on the best location for their placement. For viability is vital to effective communication.

If you are at an interpreted event and believe that significant interpreting errors have occurred, there are several options for providing assistance:

|  You may ask the presenter to repeat or rephrase a particular statement for clarification.

|  You may discretely approach the co-interpreter and quietly provide the correction so that the co-interpreter can inform the working interpreter at an appropriate time to make the correction.

Public correction or criticism of interpreters is not productive and may cause the interpreters to be unable to continue their work.

For answers to other questions about requesting services or working with interpreters, please contact Natural Languages at 201.984.2505 or email us at