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Writing a book: how can a client know that the person he is hiring is going to do a good job?
Thread poster: Mikhail Tchudin
Mikhail Tchudin
Local time: 11:09
English to Russian
+ ...
Jul 5, 2008

Hello everyone!

I'm writing a book about interpreting intended for clients: what types of interpreting there are, whom to hire, etc.

Here is a question to all of you. In your opinion, what are the signs that you are a good interpreter. Or to put it a bit differently, how can a client know that the person he is hiring / has hired is going to do a good job?

[Temat został zmieniony przez personel lub moderatora. 2008-07-05 17:51]


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:09
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
He can not know it. Jul 5, 2008

The best way for the client is a reccomendation from a trustful person.

The client can not know, that the interpreter is good, he can only know, that he is bad. The client needs also some experience with interpreters, in order to distinguish them. The same as with wine.


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Erna Maria Hill
Paraguay
Local time: 05:09
English to Spanish
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Dig Deep! Jul 5, 2008

Would you believe clients forget to ask for CVs! At least here they do!!! They should get CVs of all interpreters proposed for an event, not just lead or organizing interpreter. Secondly, they should ask for references from past events and follow-up on them. Thirdly, clients need to educate themselves to understand what makes for good, professional interpreting...and match that up with what the interpreter knows or does in order to ensure a successful event and most especially...see how interested, personally vested is the interpreter. Uff could go on!
ernamaria


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Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:09
English to Russian
+ ...
as far as i know Jul 6, 2008

I believe clients do not hire interpeters 'directly' but ask professional agencies to provide. So the agencies pick the interpreters from their roster (meaning these are already proven good) or hunt outside (checking references then).

Isn't it a usual / routine / well-known process?

Answering to the first part of your question:
well, it comes with experience and, say, professionalism. Myself, for example, I do not think that I am a good interpreter now, though I have learned the skills and was pretty good doing consecutive interpreting (even with fairly technical stuff); but with years those skills got rusty and, well, I do not like talking on behalf of other people (even for money:-)) I love written words, texts.


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The Misha
Local time: 03:09
Russian to English
+ ...
Your question is really not to the point Jul 6, 2008

How do you know that anyone who puts himself out in any professional capacity is any good? The first time, you do your due diligence - that's what resumes, references, tests, etc. are for - and then take a leap of faith.

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Mikhail Tchudin
Local time: 11:09
English to Russian
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TOPIC STARTER
Think checklist Jul 6, 2008

Good point! You've mentioned some general things, universal truths about getting an interpreter.

Could you think in a bit more specific terms, kind of like a checklist with signs that this is a good interpreter. And it doesn't have to be very serious.


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:09
Member (2011)
English to Russian
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Criteria Jul 6, 2008

[Would you believe clients forget to ask for CVs!]Erna Maria Hill wrote:

I dont think, this is a trustful criterium. You can write anything into your CV, but no one is supposed to proof it.


[I believe clients do not hire interpeters 'directly' but ask professional agencies to provide.]

Not necessary. I have a lot of direct clients, more than agencies.


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:09
Member (2011)
English to Russian
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Are we supposed to write a book for you? Jul 6, 2008

Mikhail Tchudin wrote:

Good point! You've mentioned some general things, universal truths about getting an interpreter.

Could you think in a bit more specific terms, kind of like a checklist with signs that this is a good interpreter. And it doesn't have to be very serious.


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Mikhail Tchudin
Local time: 11:09
English to Russian
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TOPIC STARTER
Want to be close to people Jul 6, 2008

Erika,

thanks for taking interest in the topic. The reason why I started it is that I believe in writing things that are interesting and useful for real people out there, not just for myself. That's why I welcome any opinions and ideas on the subject!

When I sit down to write a timeless novel, I'll lock myself up in the ivory tower.)


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
References Jul 6, 2008

I would say that the best way to find out whether or not someone is a good interpreter is to ask people who have seen and heard them in action, including persons who have attended events and used the interpreter's services, and other interpreters who have worked with them. However, that may be easier said than done.

If one is in the same community where a fair number of interpreted events are held, references on good interpreters might be obtained from others in the community who have been involved in such events. In my own case that does happen at times, because I live in a community where such events are relatively frequent and I am well-known. Other clients and colleagues will refer prospects to me. I will also recommend good colleagues to clients, and especially if they might end up being my partners, because I prefer to have the best beside me.

The problem can be that the person giving the referral who has used the service will not be bilingual, and a bilingual person who could judge it from a perspective of knowledge will not have used the service. But in talking with and seeing the reactions of others, they may have a good idea of the quality of the service provided by an interpreter.

Colleagues may or may not be good references also because they may be more interested in filling their own pockets than helping anyone else, or they may be driven by personal likes and dislikes and therefore not impartial. So some may be excellent references while others can be suspect.

So I think the key would be to try to find good references on the interpreter, which may not be easy in some cases.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
And... Jul 7, 2008

Since Erika mentioned wine, I thought I would add that interpreters are like wine, they get better with age, and you do not want to judge them by the bottle they come in. However, you need to make sure their cork hasn't come loose.

Of course if they are not bad, then they must be good if not excellent, but yes, experience with them is everything, you never know until you try them, the same as with wine.


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Mikhail Tchudin
Local time: 11:09
English to Russian
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TOPIC STARTER
Sounds good! Jul 7, 2008

Henry, good interpretation of the metaphor. Thanks for your input!

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xxxhazmatgerman
Local time: 09:09
English to German
Criteria - CV Jul 9, 2008

Dear Rubinstein:
A CV attached to an application is NEVER taken at face value, not where I work. Spelling and plausibility check are the first step for elimination, then comes gap spotting and hidden inconsistencies. If anything remains questionable, background check is made with employers, college, and so on (even the Net, FAIW). It might be different with some of your business contacts, but I really can not see how anyone would trust a CV without checking up on it.
Regards.


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:09
Member (2011)
English to Russian
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That is what I wrote. Jul 9, 2008

[but I really can not see how anyone would trust a CV without checking up on it.]hazmatgerman wrote:

I wrote exactly the same (if you reed carefully). One can not take a CV as a main criterium. And it is impossible to check everything, what is written in a CV.


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