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5 Reasons Simultaneous Interpreters are Language Olympians

Simultaneous interpreters are needed for meetings, phone calls, and events where two parties do not speak the same language. Plus, the interpreter is often conveying sensitive or complex information between the two sides. When you are hiring one of these interpreters, you need to have an understanding of what it is they do. These people are language Olympians who are doing a lot more than you realize.

1. Interpreters Must Be Fluent In (At Least) Two Languages

When you are hiring an interpreter, they must be fluent in your native tongue and the native language of your business partner, new client, or acquaintance. These interpreters know both languages so well that they likely dream in both languages. Because of this, they have the ability to hear both sides of the conversation and determine what each side is getting at. Above all else, the interpreter your point, your associate’s point, and keep the conversation going.

2. They Re-Interpret Complex Words

Languages do not often transliterate perfectly. If you have ever known someone who spoke another language as a child or speaks that language at home, they often have one word that expresses a paragraph’s worth of sentiment. They may have sayings that make almost no sense in English, but those sayings are quite profound in their native language.

The interpreter must break down these sayings or words so that you both can understand. Plus, the interpreter needs to change American colloquialisms into normal language so that your associate can understand.

3. They Must Move Quickly

The interpreter must move quickly to keep the conversation going. You cannot have a proper conversation if the gaps between thoughts are very wide. This is why the interpreter is moving quickly to give you the most basic information in most cases. The interpreter also knows when to give you a word-for-word interpretation of what was said. The interpreter is looking out for you, making sure you are understood, but avoiding any complex language that would make the conversation drag on for too long.

4. They Must Remember What Their Native Tongue Is

Many interpreters actually grew up speaking a language other than English. They learned English in school, but they spoke their native language at home. There are times when the interpreter needs to speak directly to your associate to explain how English works. Because of this, your interpreter needs a moment to remember what it was like to learn to speak their native language.

If there is a gap in your conversation, it is because the interpreter is explaining how vastly different English is from their native tongue. The same things could be explained to you, and they will help you cut back on your use of colloquialisms or jargon that make no sense in another language.

5. They Can Write Their Second Language

You may have wonderful conversations with associates though an interpreter, but your interpreter also needs to know how to read and write their second language. You may have written down information for your associates, and the interpreter can explain that information on the spot.

If you have a long document to hand over that is in English, the interpreter can read the entire thing to your associate so that they understand what they have been given. This is a crucial part of doing business, and your interpreter ensures that both parties have an understanding of the documents that have been exchanged.


The interpreters that you hire for your business are very helpful to you because they allow you to speak to clients who do not speak English. Plus, they can speak clearly to both parties in words that you will understand. The interpreter can help you with documents that have been brought to the table, and the interpreter will break down complex language into words that the both of you can understand so that the language gap can be closed.

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