Protocols – Interpreters

Overview of basic protocols and procedures for interpreters

The interpreter must:

  • Ask information regarding the nature of his/her assignment in advance in order to be able to research and adequately prepare for the assignment
  • Abide at all times with the National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services – NSGCIS
  • Always be ahead of time for his/her assignment. The interpreter must know that time shall be strictly followed. Clients expect interpreters to be on time. The interpreter shall be at the assigned room 10 to 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time
  • Remain at the appointed location until the encounter ends or until dismissed by the assigned contact person
  • Remain and wait at the assignment location for the full booked time even if the assignment does not start on time, until dismissed by the assigned contact person
  • At the end of the interpretation assignment, thank all parties involved
  • Report the assignments on time (within 24 hours of completion)
  • Dress and behave in a business-like manner
  • Send an invoice by the last day of the month (as per the contract)
  • Properly introduce himself or herself to all parties and explain the role of the interpreter. Sample introduction: My name is___________ I am your__(language)__interpreter from Multi-Languages. My role is to facilitate verbal communication by conveying as faithfully as possible the message between the 2 parties. Everything said will be interpreted and all the information will remain confidential. I will be impartial and will interpret in the first person. I might take notes but will destroy them before leaving. I might interrupt for clarification, and you may do the same if needed, may I be your interpreter today?

The interpreter must refrain from:

  • Booking directly with the service provider
  • Receiving phone calls or beeper alarms during an assignment within or outside the booked time (if within the premises)
  • Eating during the assignment within or outside the booked time (if within the premises)
  • Conducting personal or other businesses while on an interpreting assignment, handing out business cards
  • Bringing any other parties to the assignment within or outside the booked time (if within the premises)
  • Providing personal information to any of the parties involved

For more Protocols – Interpreters read the National Standards of Canada for Community Interpreting Services NSGCIS