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How Interpreters Make Cross-Cultural Communication Possible

Over the last few decades, there is little doubt that the world has become interconnected as travel and communication barriers close the gap between countries and cultures spread throughout the world. There is no indication yet that a global language is likely to emerge from this globalisation, but one thing is certain: there is no shortage in demand for interpreters as eager people from far-flung places try to communicate.

Interpreters are present in a surprising number of industries, sometimes without us even realising it. They bridge the gap between different cultures and countries, enabling communication that would otherwise not be possible.

Interpreting is often considered one of the keys that unlocks communication between cultures. Interpreters help people who come from different cultural backgrounds understand each other better, facilitating collaboration and understanding between hearts and minds of men and women with very different outlooks on life but still bound together by common humanity.

Interpreting in the Interconnected Era

The emergence of the internet has lifted many communication barriers: businesses and organisations requiring interpreters can select, hire, and communicate with them through online means. Interpreter communities are also sprouting up on the internet: interpreters meet online through social media, forums, discussion boards and virtual communities. This is useful because it means that they can share best practices and other insights with one another, helping to create a more cohesive marketplace.

Main Industries Requiring Interpreters

There are many industries that gain by using interpreters as they are able to increase their influence in their targeted communities. Interpreters enable businesses to reach out to new customers and markets, helping them to penetrate foreign countries with relatively little effort. Interpreter services are useful for business meetings; conferences; corporate training sessions; corporate presentations; trade fairs; exhibitions; seminars; job interviews or even negotiation talks.

The main industries where interpreting services are crucial include the following:

  • the entertainment industry;
  • governments;
  • health care providers;
  • educational services;
  • businesses;
  • the legal industry;
  • journalism.

The Entertainment Industry

The entertainment industry is one of the most obvious industries where interpreters are highly effective. Interpreters can facilitate the exchange of ideas and messages between producers, directors, managers, artists, and actors. Interpreters enable a smoother flow of communication, ensuring that people from different linguistic backgrounds can work together to produce the best piece of work possible.

Additionally, interpreting services are helpful to organise and facilitate travel, workshops, rehearsals or even backstage talks or meetings as they allow complex information to be more easily exchanged between staff members who speak different languages.

Interpreting services are also useful during live events such as art exhibitions. Interpreters help us better understand what we see so that we can fully appreciate the beauty of different forms of art.

Government Interpreters

Governments rely on the services of interpreters because they enable the exchange of information between representatives from different countries. Interpreters are helpful in negotiations, as well as in helping to disseminate and clarify information about each country’s position or stance during important events such as international conferences.

Interpreters can also be useful when parties must communicate with their constituents and public at large.

Also, interpreters prove crucial as many more people choose to reside in a country other than their own or are refugees or asylum seekers, but their fluency in the host country isn’t necessarily sufficient to understand local laws, rights, and obligations. State governments can use interpreters to help second-language speakers access local services while a national government can inform people of the country’s laws and their rights and obligations.

Healthcare Interpreters

Interpreters are consistently in demand in the healthcare industry. People from time to time get sick and need to access healthcare, but all medical situations require clear communication.

Interpreting services are useful for patients who speak a language other than those that the medical staff speaks. Interpreters help doctors explain diagnoses; treatment options; medical conditions; symptoms, and current medications in order to ensure that patients can fully understand what is going on. Interpreting services become more critical in emergency cases when time is of the essence and people need to understand what is being said as there may not be a second chance to ask or explain. Interpreters can also help medical personnel communicate with family members or loved ones, informing them about the patient’s condition in terms they’ll understand.

Educational Interpreting Services

Making available interpreters in the languages spoken by those attending educational and training establishments is critical to ensure that each student gets an equal and fair education. Foreign students vetted for language proficiency can normally handle the language demands of their courses, but students of families who have entered the country as refugees and asylum seekers may still be struggling with the language of the new country. This group of people will benefit from the help given by interpreters.

Interpreting services can be helpful during field trips when students have to visit museums or points of interest located outside the school campus. Interpreters make it easier for all participants to enjoy these excursions because they ensure smooth communication between staff members and second-language speakers who just want to learn more about different cultures.

Business Interpreters

Interpreting services help businesses interact with new partners and clients, as well as get informal discussions up and running in order for them to better assess opportunities available in other markets.

Interpreters can also be helpful when business people need to make presentations while travelling abroad or work through some organisational issues during meetings held miles away from key offices. Face-to-face interpreting is not the only way to conduct business interpreting, though; interpreters make business interactions easier in video conferencing and other types of electronic meetings.

The Legal Industry

Never throughout recent history have different languages and cultures been able to formulate legal systems for different countries that share the same features. This means that laws are different from country to country. Travellers both for business and leisure need to know the laws of the countries they travel in so that the laws are not broken.

This could be anything from knowing which side of the road to drive on to understanding the laws for setting up supply contracts with clients or paying wages to workers hired in another country. Today international crime is being exposed only too often and once the perpetrators are arrested and brought to trial they will need legal interpreter to translate the court proceedings. There is no better way to solve communication problems than to have an experienced legal interpreter available when required.

Reporting Interpreters for the Media

Interpreting services can also be instrumental during press briefings when foreign correspondents need to interview government officials about important events happening in their countries, such as natural disasters or instances of governmental corruption. Interpreters allow journalists from other countries to ask questions with ease so that they can accurately report on these stories for their respective audiences back home.

Author Bio:

Alison Williams gained an MA in Applied Linguistics and started to move into writing as a means of securing an income. She has since then specialised in writing blog posts and web pages for a variety of clients including those in the legal and translation niches. Alison has built up the ability as a highly skilled writer to communicate with a variety of audiences and in an array of styles and formats. Over the past few years, she has worked with executives, entrepreneurs, industry experts and many other professionals in writing and publishing, SEO web content, blogs, newspaper articles and more.

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