3 min read

Listed below are some helpful tips on how to work with telephone interpreters. Following these best practices will ensure you consistently have the best interpretation experience possible.

  1. Speak at a reasonable pace (not too fast) and enunciate clearly.
  2. Speak in short phrases and pause frequently so that the interpreter can convey the information quickly and accurately. If you go on for too long, you will have to wait a while for the interpretation, and you run the risk that the interpreter will forget details and may have to ask you to repeat something.
  3. Address the Limited-English Proficient (LEP) person directly (i.e.,”What is your name” not “Ask him what his name is”).
  4. Speak “plain English” and avoid jargon or “shop talk” that may be specific to your work or industry.
  5. It is common for interpreters to occasionally require clarification of unfamiliar terms. If your interpreter asks you to define a term, try to rephrase it in other words. The interpreter may have to ask the LEP person to clarify terms as well, but will let you know before addressing your customer in the other language.
  6. Your interpreter will let you know if he / she has any problems hearing you or the other party, who may be calling on a cell phone or in a room with background noise.
  7. Remember that interpreted communication typically takes twice as long as communication in the same language; please be patient.

Our goal is to ensure completely accurate and effective communication always occurs between you and your diverse customers. We appreciate your cooperation and encourage you to contact the Client Services department with any questions, concerns or feedback.