As the world continues to globalize, extending your company’s business to other countries is one of the key factors for success. During the process of expanding the business, you should think about how to communicate in the target country’s language. Many studies have shown that language barriers will hinder your business’ internationalization. If you cannot communicate well in the target language, it may be distorting the meaning of your business intentions and end up damaging your business relationships.
According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, 56% of web consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price. This shows how much customers value smooth communication.
As such, you may ask yourself what is the easiest way to reduce the language barrier. In our opinion, a good solution is to hire an interpreter/translator for your company or at least for some short-term events. Below are four things to consider when hiring an interpreter.
1. Interpretation type
You should start with the basic questions, such as what kind of interpretation you need, what language pairs are required, and how much budget you can offer him/her. For example, if you are a Korean company participating in business-matching events in Vietnam, then you should look for a Korean - Vietnamese interpreter within your budget who is willing to interpret for a short-term event. Or you can be a Chinese supplier that is planning to sign a contract with a Japanese buyer. You will need to find an interpreter who is fluent in both Chinese and Japanese and familiar with business meetings and contract negotiations. If you want to know about what other interpretation types and modes exist, you can read our article Different Modes and Types of Interpretation.
Next, do not forget the location of the interpreter. You may find a perfect interpreter but if he is not near the event site, you may have to pay for his extra transportation fee. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, it will be hard for an interpreter to travel freely. In these cases, you can consider hiring remote interpreters who will interpret using video conference technologies.
3. Interpreter background
It is important that you examine the interpreter’s credentials. In particular, check the interpreter’s age, educational and work histories, past interpretation events that he attended, and any test scores the interpreter has obtained. However, be aware that not all interpreters are telling the truth about their background.
4. Previous evaluations
Did the interpreter provide a list of previous clients he worked for? This may help you determine his level of professionalism and (some aspect of) the quality of his work. In case you get a referral from another company, ask the referrers how they feel about the interpreter. Platforms like Freelensia also have a mutual rating system where you can rate, write a public review and private feedback on how the interpreter performed in the event. Previous feedbacks of other clients on the interpreter’s profile page will help you decide whether to reserve the interpreter or not.
Do not be hasty with your interpreter choice. Take the time to examine your options and consider the pointers briefly discussed above. If you want to know more about how to find an interpreter, please read our blog article here.