Working with Interpreters – Booking Procedures

Working with Interpreters

When working with interpreters:

  • Provide the interpreter with a safe working environment
  • You will need extra time when working with an interpreter
  • Avoid long, complex sentences, do not use slang, idiomatic expressions, highly technical vocabulary or jargon
  • Speak clearly, loudly and at a moderate pace
  • Talk directly to your client/patient not to the interpreter
  • Refrain from asking the interpreter for his/her personal opinion
  • Refrain from asking the interpreter for community resources or cultural background questions; the client and the interpreter do not necessarily share the same culture since they speak the same language
  • For long assignments, provide a break as accuracy declines with time (simultaneous after 30 minutes, consecutive after 2 – 2 1/2 hours)
  • Pause frequently to allow the interpreter to render all the information
  • Be aware of non-verbal communication
  • Encourage the interpreter to clarify terms
  • Some words don’t have an exact translation into the foreign language; the interpreter would have to provide an explanation of the term, that does not mean he/she is adding information, feel free to clarify if in doubt.
  • Before the appointment, whenever possible, provide background information about the case, for the interpreter to become familiar with the subject matter.

Booking an interpreter:

  • Book follow-up appointments directly with the agency.
  • Cancel appointments directly with the agency.
  • Book the interpreter as soon as you are aware you will be needing one.
  • Cancel the interpreter as soon as you are aware of the cancellation not only to avoid the 24 hour cancellation policy but to allow the interpreter to take other assignments.
  • ASL interpreters work on different parameters, you would need to book them ahead of time, their cancellation policy is 48 hours instead of 24 hours and their rate is different.
  • Fill out the feedback form to help us with quality assurance.

Information needed for booking interpreters:

  • Organization’s name
  • Service provider full name and extension
  • Language (not nationality)
  • Client/Patient’s name or a file number
  • Date of the assignment
  • Time of the assignment and expected duration
  • If it is a home visit, we need complete address and contact information for the meeting
  • Background information so the interpreter can research and prepare for the encounter