Translation musings: The 5Ws of interpreting

Nov 24, 2015 | First Edition Translations, Musings, Uncategorized


Requesting the services of an interpreter is slightly different from requesting a translation. Your project manager will need information about the event, the attendees and the schedule in order to find the best interpreter for you. If you don’t know where to start, have a look at this list below. If you need any further guidance or advice, give us a ring at 01223 356 733 or write to us through our Contact Form.
In order to find the right interpreter for you, we will need to know a bit about the people who require the interpreting. What language do they speak? What country are they from? In case of languages that have several different dialects, such as Portuguese or Spanish, it’s useful to know which variety you or your visitors would prefer. Is there a big group of delegates you are expecting or only one person? Knowing these details will help your project manager contacting the right interpreter.
This might sound a bit blunt but why do you need an interpreter? Tell us a bit more about the reason you’ll require interpreting. Will you need an interpreter to help your visitors during an informal sightseeing tour? Or is it for a serious business meeting, a court hearing or perhaps even a conference?
Just like translators, interpreters also specialise in certain areas, so knowing the subject matter will definitely aid our work. Will a technical topic be covered at your meeting or is it about a legal matter? Will you need a medical interpreter?
While nowadays we can work with any translator regardless of where they are in the world, an interpreter’s location is still very important. Although it’s not always possible to find local interpreters in a given language combination or subject matter, we always do our best to get the interpreter who is not only the most suited for the subject matter but is also as close to the venue as possible, in order to minimise travel costs and travel time. So, don’t forget to tell us where exactly the event will take place.
As most of our interpreters are sought after and booked well in advance, the sooner you contact us, the better. When you get in touch, let us know when the event starts. When should our interpreter arrive? How long will you need them for? Will they need to stay overnight?

There are several types of interpreting, such as consecutive, simultaneous or ad-hoc interpreting. As there are interpreters who specialise in a certain type of interpreting, it’s essential to provide us with this detail. If you are not quite sure which one you’ll need, just ask your First Edition project manager, they will be happy advise you. You can also read a bit more about interpreting on our website.