Make a Difference with your Interpreter
Updated: Oct 14, 2019
with Your Interpreter
Schedule enough time for the interpretation to take place
Remember that these appointments or meetings will likely be double the time of your regular appointments. During consecutive interpretation, the interpreter waits for one party to speak before they relay what was said, needless to say that will require more time than a direct conversation.
Remember to review key points before the appointment begins.
Let the interpreter know about the patient's concerns or gender preferences before the session begins. This way, the interpreter will be aware of what is going on and the patient will feel comfortable communicating with a third person in the room.
Do some research.
A little background information about the culture of the non-English speaker will go a long way. For instance, there may be a socioeconomic class system in the person’s native country that could affect the way they communicate with someone who is from a higher (or lower) class.
Make eye contact during the appointment.
The interpreter functions solely as a medium. The role of the interpreter is to facilitate communication between two parties, they are not actively involved in the conversation.
Don’t speak to the interpreter
Of course it is O.K. to speak to the interpreter before the appointment begins. However, this point is in reference to while the interpretation is in session. Don’t ask the interpreter a question or anything that is not related to the patient’s immediate care.
Overall, it is important to be aware of the cross-cultural differences between non-English and English speakers. Learning how to communicate between disparate cultures, ethnicities, genders and backgrounds is the key to successfully interpretation and accurately interpret from the source message to the target message. Following these steps will not only improve appointment flow, it will drastically improve communication between you and your patient, client or colleague.
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