Moral support...tough interpreting job in an hour's time! (CET 10.50 now meeting at 12.00)
Thread poster: Kean Hall

Kean Hall
Italy
Local time: 05:11
Member (2018)
Italian to English
Feb 11

So a guy I know has asked me to interpret during a meeting with his big boss. The guy I know is country manager for a subsidiary of a multinational.
I asked him what it was about...and he feels the company is trying to "push him out", and wants to "clear the air". The boss doesn't even know he wants to speak to him, let alone what about! He's just said "I hope he doesn't get angry"...
I don't normally do interpreting but he needs a favour. Any tips??


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
No Time-Position-Information or Plan B/C/D? Hopes only? Feb 11

Just watch them talking aside and take it easy--it's neither your primary field, nor you've got wide negotiation experience and diplomatic skills.

Good luck)


 

Kean Hall
Italy
Local time: 05:11
Member (2018)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Well, what my associate expected to be a 15 min meeting tops... Feb 11

...ended up lasting an hour and a half. I armed myself with as much info as I could beforehand from my associate, but ultimately it was a tough meeting with several frank, tense exchanges of opinion. It became clear on several occasions during these exchanges that there was a back story that both parties knew only too well and that I wasn't privy to. At one point they were even speaking in their respective languages and comprehending each other sufficiently well (despite the language barrier) be... See more
...ended up lasting an hour and a half. I armed myself with as much info as I could beforehand from my associate, but ultimately it was a tough meeting with several frank, tense exchanges of opinion. It became clear on several occasions during these exchanges that there was a back story that both parties knew only too well and that I wasn't privy to. At one point they were even speaking in their respective languages and comprehending each other sufficiently well (despite the language barrier) before I could even translate, and I was virtually clueless as to the issue they were discussing (to do with broken promises and individuals who had left the company etc..). Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyway, job done...a few times I had to get them to "hold their horses" as they were becoming quite animated and not giving me time to translate (familiar to anyone?)...and a few other times I had to ask an individual to clarify, as they were using language that they were familiar with ("the team in the pool"...?, "...the group who has to requalify..."???), which I could only guess at vaguely. (familiar?).
And one significant comment made by the big boss upon which I needed clarification (my mother tongue...nothing to do with language barrier), just because it was a particularly sensitive comment and he'd deliberately used opaque language and I wanted to be clear on what he was implying, but when I asked him for clarification he'd had thinking time enough to decide he didn't feel his comment had been appropriate and he eyeballed me and said "scrub that", and then reworded his comment completely!! (again...sound familiar to anyone??)
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Liviu-Lee Roth
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Struggle [outargue] vs Cooperation [negotiations] Feb 11

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” —J.F.K.

There’re too many important questions and sensitive point:
#1 Is it high time to negotiate—with whom? [stronger-equal-weaker]
#2 What are our brawny and scrawny spots—and the other’s?
#3 How we can strengthen our position—or weaken the other’s?
#4 What are our alternatives—and the other’s?
. . .
Without good preparations and spe
... See more
“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” —J.F.K.

There’re too many important questions and sensitive point:
#1 Is it high time to negotiate—with whom? [stronger-equal-weaker]
#2 What are our brawny and scrawny spots—and the other’s?
#3 How we can strengthen our position—or weaken the other’s?
#4 What are our alternatives—and the other’s?
. . .
Without good preparations and specifics, it’s but running jump unto a big porcupine.
Besides, one can be not only just an interpreter, but also a mediator/advisor.


Once I saw a young specialist who was so proud of herself that came to boss and put an invitation letter from other company before him, demanding to double her salary or else... She had neither strong position, nor Plan B and C. Sheer blackmailing silliness! Unfortunately, she even couldn’t explain it herself: Why should boss pay her x2 ? Of course, she was unready and asked to forget about that misunderstanding, yet it was her last day in the company.

As Windton Churchill said: 'You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth.'

P.S. Kean, I think you're a diplomat. Nice exp

[Edited at 2020-02-11 21:18 GMT]
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Moral support...tough interpreting job in an hour's time! (CET 10.50 now meeting at 12.00)

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