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Sara Bell,

Senior Marketing &

Communications Manager


Working with Interpreters.

Top tips for course organisers

Companies planning to have international

participants attend their training need a clear

understanding of how to work with

interpreters and prepare in advance to deliver

the most effective results.

First things first. Before you contact

interpreters, confirm the location, format,

agenda and course content. These factors will

have a crucial impact on the language

support required. When budgeting, you will

need to build in travel and subsistence costs

for interpreters and subject to location,

possibly overnight accommodation for the


Some of the key points to consider during the

planning stage are outlined here. You may

also want to call on the services of an

experienced project manager so they can

ensure your plans are workable and can

support you through the process. When

selecting interpreters, of course, you'll check

they are fluent in the language of course

leaders and participants, but make sure they

have experience of your industry and


A perfect match

If the course is mainly delivered through

presentations, simultaneous interpreting is

normally the best choice. In this situation, a

team of at least two interpreters will be

needed as they work in pairs to maintain the

quality of their service throughout the working

day. In cases with less formal content and

more visual or hands on content, it may be

possible to use a consecutive interpreter. The

interpreter will deliver the presenter's remarks

segment by segment and can assist with

language support when delegates are

working on practical tasks.

Simultaneous interpreters will usually need

equipment to deliver content to the delegates

via headsets. This can be done using a

portable tour guide kit which is relatively easy

to operate and set up. It is also ideal for

courses which frequently move rooms or

include social tours or factory visits.

However, there will always be a little

background noise in the room and someone

has to be responsible for charging the

equipment and collecting everything at the

end. A professional booth is relatively

soundproof and allows for a smoother

professional delivery. However, they do

require an on-site specialist technician,

enough room in each classroom to

accommodate them and time to set up and



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