International Trade And Neutral Language Interpreters

A couple of months ago we were talking with Paul Walters, CEO of Lime Tree Europe, an international trade consulting firm. He gave us some insights on exporting and the possible use of language interpreters in this arena.

Paul is an important export advisor and speaker in Northwest UK. He is very often travelling to Southeast Asia, the Middle East as well as to business events in a number of countries.

He told us about some quite bad experiences he had with interpreters in China. Based on his expertise, he recommends people to be wary of the party they are doing business with if they kindly provide their own interpreter. “You´ll be better off by bringing your our own linguist to the business meeting“, he advised.

He also described how some confusing situations came up back then, where he deep down felt he could not trust what the language professional was orally translating. To make things worse, it is not unusual in that country to hire a person who is not exactly a professional.

Therefore Paul Walters expressed that in the case of Onscreeninterpreters we can be offering real neutrality, something that is VERY important at business interpreting.  We mean neutrality here in the sense that it is of paramount importance that the interpreter never met any of the participants prior to the meeting. Then it came to our mind that there is quite a great similarity between the task performed by an interpreter and the one of a judge, who ought to avoid previous interactions with any of the parties facing trial.

This way Paul Walters told us that the services we now provide are useful indeed in terms of protecting this before-mentioned aspect of neutrality. Last but not least we also guarantee confidentiality, another CRUCIAL issue at international trade.

Considering that our interpreters are working remotely from another country, they have no chance of knowing any of the video conference participants beforehand. Consequently, it is not possible for this principle of neutrality to be disregarded.

In short, the three points highlighted by our friend about hiring interpreters at international business meetings are the following:

  1. Hire a language professional, instead of simply using the services of bilingual staff belonging to any of the companies.
  2. This professional must be unknown to all clients, ensuring neutrality to avoid favouring any of the participants.
  3. Guarantee confidentiality, a key factor in international trade.

Then we finally come to the conclusion that these ones could be some advantages this new language interpreting mode offers over classic forms of oral translation such as on-site interpreting, the latter involving the physical presence of the linguist in the business meeting.

Thank you very much Paul!

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