How to Overcome Common Linguistic Problems

LinguisticsThe interpretation process has many elements and can be
ineffective if not properly managed. Here are a few tips
to overcome possible linguistic barriers when using an
interpreter:

Technical Terms
It is always advisable not to use technical terms when speaking to a client
who may not understand them. However, if it is absolutely necessary, give the
interpreter an opportunity to look up the term in a dictionary, or accompany
the term with a description or an explanation of its purpose. The
interpreter should also be encouraged to show the client pictures
if available.

Idioms
An idiom is a figure of speech that expresses an idea in a way that is unique
to the language in question. It is usually hard to avoid using idioms, just
be mindful that it may take the interpreter a little longer to apply an
appropriate equivalent in the client’s language.

Inarticulate Clients
There are occasions where the client may not be the best at expressing his or
herself and therefore does not appropriately answer a question or provide
a complete thought. One should never assume that the interpreter is at
fault. Asking the client clarification questions is a good way to ensure that
the message is being delivered effectively.

Dialectical or Regional Differences
Some languages are spoken in several different countries and as a result
there may be regional variations in usage. A trained interpreter will be
able to deal with dialectical differences. But if you are aware that the
client and the interpreter are not from the same country, you can avoid
problems by giving the interpreter a little extra time to work around
regional variations and avoid misunderstandings.

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