Don't let things get lost in translation.

After the recent blog about the importance of language and culture I recalled a conversation I had not too long ago about the use of translators. I was talking to my friend Maximo at On Screen Interpreters in Argentina, discussing how we may cooperate (I am sure he won’t mind me sharing this with you).

I was discussing the many times in the past I have sat in meetings in the Far East, in particular in China where I have relied on a member of staff from the company I have been visiting to act as a translator and how in hindsight we probably should have had an independent person to do the translations for us. I am not suggesting anything improper but merely that I relied on the standard of the persons English to be sufficient to understand the technical details we were discussing and maybe that could be the cause of some misunderstandings.





Employing a neutral interpreter with the necessary technical knowledge in both languages would have been a great help for both parties.


At the simplest level, a proficient translator or interpreter faced with an expression like “blind as a bat” will use an idiom that conveys the same meaning, register, and impact rather than render it word-for-word.

An independent interpreter will remain neutral they are merely conduits for the conversation and would not be expected to offer their own opinion, therefore both parties could rely on the professional ability. Equally though they would be expected to treat any information as confidential and would be considered part of their ethical standards.


Interpreters and translators are individuals who have a professional understanding of language and language ability. Their challenges is to have to interpret for professionals who do not understand how interpreters work therefore they need to learn to address situations created by clients who are uninformed about interpreting events.


Having said all the above, and I am now going to give Maximo a plug, interpreters are not just needed for face to face meetings. In a world were the pace is getting even faster many meetings are held on-line be that on social media platforms or messenger services through to web conferencing. On Screen Interpreters offer an innovative solution with real-time interaction between individuals. HD video conferences provide companies, governments, and other organizations an easy to use and affordable tool to overcome distance and language barriers. In turn, their customers avoid or reduce the need for international business trips. This cuts expenses and hassles in dealing with current/prospective clients or overseas distributors/agents who are unable to speak the same language.





Their highly screened, reliable and qualified interpreters share their passion for communication and serving people with innovation and excellence. The internet has changed how the world communicates. Onscreen interpreters reinvent how the world uses language interpretation. www.onscreeninterpreters.com

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