What does an Interpreter have to Confirm with a Client about before Accepting an Interpretation Event?

By Site Admin | Jan 2, 2023
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Interpreters often works with big companies and event organizers. As such, great interpreters need to display a high level of professionalism in addition to their language abilities. When an interpreter receives an inquiry from a potential client, what must he/she confirm with the client before quoting a price and officially accepting the reservation request? This article provides a comprehensive list of things that both interpreters and clients should verify to ensure professionalism and success throughout the event.

1. Interpretation types

As mentioned in our blog article, there are different modes and types of interpretation. The interpreter should check what interpretation types the client requires. Sometimes, an event will have multiple interpretation types. For example, the client may need simultaneous interpretation for the morning session and MC and consecutive interpretation for the afternoon session. While most interpreters will apply the interpretation fee for the most expensive interpretation type required, a few will give discounts because some of the work requires a less demanding interpretation type.

Did you know?
At Freelensia, interpreters post different listings corresponding to different interpretation types, and each listing has a different price. The interpreter needs to make sure the client is making a reservation at the correct listing.


2. Event dates and times

What are the start and end dates of the event? On each day, at what time does the interpreter have to show up (meet-up time), and at what time can the interpreter leave the event (dismiss time)? Keep in mind that the interpretation start time may be later than the meet-up time. In other words, the client may require the interpreter to standby, rehearse, or have a short meeting before interpreting. Sometimes, the client requires the interpreter to have an interview or meeting before the event’s start date.

3. Interpreter’s working hours

Once the event’s required dates and times are known, the client should compare them with interpreter’s standard working hours. Typically, a full-day or one-day interpretation fee includes 8 working hours (from 8:00 to 17:00 or 9:00 to 18:00 with a one-hour lunch break in between). Similarly, a half-day interpretation fee usually includes 4 working hours in either the morning or the afternoon. There is also a special interpretation time unit, which is interpretation over lunch or dinner.

Did you know?
At Freelensia, an interpreter can post a listing in any of the above 3 listing types. Again, each has a different price. The interpreter should mention about his/her working hours in the listing.

It is customary that the interpreter arrives 10 minutes before the start time without additional charge. For example, if the event’s meet-up time is 8:00, the interpreter usually arrives at 7:50. Still, the client should confirm explicitly with the interpreters what his/her working hours are, and whether he/she will charge over-time fees. Most interpreters charge extra if the total working hours exceed 8 hours for a full-day, and 4 hours for a half-day interpretation event. Some interpreters even charge extra if a morning half-day event goes past noon, or if a full-day event goes past 18:00.

In the case the client requires an interview or meeting before the event’s start date, some interpreters do not charge a fee, but some do. The client should confirm this explicitly, too.

On the other hand, if the event’s time is considerably less than the interpreter’s standard working hours, the client can ask the interpreter for a discount from his/her standard price. For example, if the event’s total time (from meet-up to dismissal) is 1-2 hours, some interpreters will discount 10-40% from the half-day price. However, some interpreters do not discount at all.

Did you know?
At Freelensia, the listing’s price is public and does not frequently change. An interpreter cannot charge more than the listing’s price, unless the event requires different interpretation types, languages or time schedules from those mentioned in the listing. An interpreter may give a discount from the event fee (paid during the event), but the reservation fee (paid in advance) is always fixed.


4. Transportation, food and lodging

Usually, the interpreter pays for his own transportation to and from the meet-up place. However, if the location is far from the city center, the interpreter may charge extra. For a full-day event, it is customary that the client pays for the interpreter’s lunch, however this can be negotiated between the two parties.

In the case where the event takes place in another city, usually the client must pay for the interpreter’s transportation, such as by train or flight. In some cases, the interpreter will require the client to pay for hotel fees the night before or after the event, depending on the start and end times. The two parties must work out these details before making an official reservation.

5. Price and payment terms

Once the interpreter has verified all the details above with the client, he or she can quote the official interpretation fee. The two sides should also finalize the currency, method of payment (by cash or bank transfer), and the payment schedule (at the event, or after the event is over).

Did you know?
At Freelensia, we recommend that the client pays the interpreter in cash (USD) at the beginning of the last interpretation day. USD is the universal currency, while most interpreters prefer cash. Furthermore, this payment timing achieves the right balance to create trust between the two parties.


With the above checklist, we hope that clients and the interpreters can fully understand each other’s requirements before making a reservation. With Freelensia’s listing system, the interpretation price and other working conditions are publicly known, further enhancing mutual understanding and ensuring the success of the interpretation event. Read more about the steps to reserve interpreter online at the Freelensia Information page. Clients can contact Hotline (+84) 89 933 60 85 or email support@freelensia.com for advice on our services.

See Also

How to Evaluate an Interpreter?