The Linguist

The Linguist 57,4 - August/September 2018

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 35

@Linguist_CIOL AUGUST/SEPTEMBER The Linguist 21 FEATURES I worked for expressed their ideas with clarity, making frequent pauses without interrupting their discourse, and addressed the audience directly during their presentations. At FIREX International, the context was rather different. A security systems company hired me to network with exhibitors who could distribute their products in an overseas market. When meeting the sales reps, my client looked at me while talking to them. The atmosphere was not ideal for a smooth business relationship to develop because the prospective contractor was not being acknowledged directly by the potential distributor (my client). Another awkward moment arose when the interlocutor asked a particularly challenging question, and my client answered ambiguously. The interlocutor might have thought something was lost during the interpreting process, but in reality, my client was changing the topic to avoid giving a precise answer. Even after a couple of attempts by the exhibitor to elicit the data, my client's answer was vague and confusing. Based on my experience, I now advise clients to focus on the relationship they aim to develop with their potential clients/partners. Depending on cultural conventions, it might work better if people talk directly to the person they want to connect with, establish eye contact and express themselves as if the other speaker understood every word. Clients should be aware that their interpreter will render their message in the target language, but they are the ones responsible for engaging the listener in the conversation and creating a positive rapport. Rewards of the job There are few vocations that offer the chance to develop so many new skills in such a short space of time. Every client, exhibition and demand is different. But regardless of the atmosphere, it is important to adhere to the agreement you have reached with your client, and bear in mind their objective in hiring you. Set clear terms in case you are required to work overtime, or there is a last-minute cancellation, and discuss all arrangements related to travel and subsistence. A certain degree of versatility may be necessary from your side, in combination with common sense, problem-solving and excellent people skills. Remember that a successful conversation between your client and their future prospects – achieved through your linguistic mediation – may lead to more business for you as an interpreter, especially if follow-up meetings are organised to discuss any business opportunities that may emerge. An adventurous spirit, courage and curiosity may trigger a desire to explore the world of international communication at trade fairs. But it is through devoted preparation, relevant training, adequate experience and specialist knowledge that you will end up victorious on the global exhibitions scene. Share your experiences of dealing with challenges in this field via Twitter @Linguist_CIOL or questions, I asked a company representative to deal with their inquiries while I interpreted consecutively. After dealing with English- speaking prospects, I would take time to explain to the exhibitor (in Spanish) what the conversations were about. That kind of approach worked well during that particular event. Although I was not interpreting exclusively, I added value by helping my client to reach their final objective: networking and building business relationships directly with wholesalers in order to promote their brand in the UK. During trade fairs, some business people may get impatient if interpreting is required for building up trading relations with international companies, and may altogether avoid dealing with those who do not speak their language. However, many others are aware of the benefits they may get from communicating globally, and positively embrace the services offered by interpreters. Explaining how we work Clients should be educated about the way we work while interpreting. Some of the clients I have worked for at trade fairs have been familiar with consecutive interpreting techniques, which made my job easier. While interpreting at World Travel Market, during press conferences about Argentina, the diplomats and government representatives ENTERING THE UNKNOWN Jaquelina Guardamagna has interpreted at Olympia (above); and the Excel Centre (left)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Linguist - The Linguist 57,4 - August/September 2018