M. +61 449.023.377   E.  rm@esfsydneytutor.com.au

Raquel Martinez  

Spanish Interpreting - working with interpreters


​The following facts and fact sheet will help you understand what it is like to work with Professional Interpreters, what to expect and how to work with them.

Whether it is your first time hiring an Interpreter or you want to know more about working with Interpreters.

A. Background material.- Interpreters are not mind-readers. Poorly informed interpreters cannot do high quality work. Make sure that the interpreter is completely informed on all aspects of the job at hand: the historical context, the aims of the parties, and especially with regard to all printed documents relating to the job or referred to by speakers.  

B. Alter the way you speak.- In general, there is no need for you to change the way you speak when you are working with an interpreter. However, speakers should also be reminded not to read printed material at high speed, as this is virtually impossible to follow.  

C. Face the other person when you speak.- Interpreters always strive to allow the various parties to speak naturally and transparently – as if there were no language difference. Often you can speak completely normally to the other party, provided you pause from time to time.  

D. The interpreter is not on your side even if you are paying him/her.- Interpreters are ethically required to remain absolutely neutral and interpret everything that is spoken accurately and faithfully. The French president, Jacques Chirac, once exclaimed in French during a meeting with Margaret Thatcher: ‘What the hell does the old witch want from me!?’ The interpreter faithfully interpreted the phrase into English. Watch what you say in front of an interpreter, as you would during any exchange. They are not there to filter your language or offer advice.  

E. Treat your interpreter respectfully.- Interpreters are humans too! Interpreting requires intense concentration and an expenditure of mental energy that often leaves interpreters exhausted at the end of the day. Treat them with the courtesy that their work and skills deserve  

F. Payment.- Most interpreters are freelancers and rely on prompt payment to maintain a cash flow, so short terms of payment are the norm. As noted above, you may also be asked to make some payment in advance to cover travelling expenses and preparation.  

G. An interpreter specialized in your field? .- Interpreters are language professionals who can adapt to any situation given sufficient lead time and materials. Like other professions, some individuals limit their practice to specific fields such as law or medicine. However, the nature of an interpreter’s professional life generally means they must respond to a dizzying variety of situations.  

H. Code of Ethics.- AUSIT (Australian Institute for Interpreters and Translators) has a Code of Ethics for its members which is endorsed by NAATI (National Accreditation Agencya of Translators and Interpreters in Australia), and adopted by many organisations. The industry is self-regulating, which means that AUSIT interpreters and translators agree to follow the code in relation to issues such as confidentiality, impartiality, accuracy and reliability.

Enquiries:   E: rm@esfsydneytutor.com.au

                    M: +61 449 023 377

More about Interpreting:

Find out more about me as an Interpreter 

Find out more about my Education and Training as an Interpreter 

Find out more about Famous Interpreters

Find out more about the difference between Interpreters and Translators