Liaison interpreting is an essential service if your company wants to operate effectively in international markets.
The service consists of translating oral speech but, unlike other forms of interpreting more suitable to conferences, it is used for occasions crucial to company development, which is why it is imperative to rely on experts.
Misunderstandings or mistakes can prove fatal not only to a company’s reputation, but also to the fate of the business.
Liaison interpreters are professionals who handle this type of interpreting. Without notes. they translate verbal exchanges that take place at a relatively fast pace within a small circle of speakers.
Certain requirements must be met to perform this task. First, the typical skills of an interpreter, regardless of the working technique:
- perfect command of active and passive languages (i.e. the source foreign language and the target native language);
- in-depth knowledge of the culture of the countries involved;
- command of an extensive, detailed specialized vocabulary.
The latter is a critical factor since, during a liaison interpreting assignment, professionals must deal with a wide range of specific terminology relating to a particular company and its sector.
Since these are delicate meetings crucial to the company’s future, interpreters must prepare extensively prior to the meeting.
Professionals who use this interpreting method must also possess the following soft skills:
- excellent memory;
- speed in providing the translation;
- communication skills, empathy and mediation skills.
The first two relate to the special context in which liaison interpreting takes place: fast-paced conversations without notes. Consequently, interpreters must be able to remember what is being said and convey it succinctly and as quickly as possible. As you might expect, this process is by no means straightforward, due to various technicalities in the speech that requires translation and the responsibility involved in this task, which may determine the success or failure of the meeting.
The third soft skill concerns the typical skills of negotiators.
Liaison interpreters are, in several respects, mediators. On the one hand, they break down language and cultural barriers that could hamper or impede communication between the parties involved. On the other, they are required to steer the meeting toward a fruitful outcome for the company they represent.
The choice of this professional is therefore crucial if the company is to conduct a successful meeting. That is why it is always best to turn to a professional.
When liaison interpreting is necessary
The name of this form of interpreting suggests the type of situations in which it may be needed. In general, these are confidential meetings at which issues of strategic importance to the company are discussed.
Specifically, there are three factors that identify the context of liaison interpreting:
- small number of speakers;
- presence of speakers from other countries;
- discussion of trade and economic issues.
Signing a contract with a new supplier, presenting products at a trade fair or an informal business lunch are examples of typical situations in which liaison interpreting is required. Each represents a valuable opportunity for companies that want to expand their business, so careful communication is a crucial aspect that should not be underestimated.
Although many people have excellent knowledge of English as a lingua franca, this is not necessarily enough to improvise as a liaison interpreter. Non-professionals may feel uncomfortable conversing in a language of which they do not have a perfect command. There can be a very high likelihood of misunderstandings and ambiguities on the part of the company due to their limited knowledge of the culture they are dealing with.
Situations like this could be embarrassing and damaging to the company’s reputation and business, so liaison interpreting indispensable. Assistance from a professional who conveys communication in a correct, timely, respectful manner is the best way to make a good impression on the speakers and to achieve the desired results.
At Way2Global we have the best resources to perform this type of interpreting. Our professionals are selected based on high academic requirements and years of experience. Our project managers are responsible for choosing the most suitable interpreter for each occasion, selecting, through a consultative approach tailored to each case, the resource most in line with the customer’s needs.
With our liaison interpreting service, we support important companies from all sectors in all of the above circumstances, paving the way for excellent results in business and economic development.
Employing translation and interpreting experts is a winning choice to boost the success of your business abroad. With Way2Global, there are no barriers, only great opportunities.