Best Practices for Working with an Interpreter

Marty with headphones

1. Provide reference materials when possible.

2. Introduce the interpreter and his/her role.

3. Speak as if everybody in the room understands your language.

4. Know that everything you say will be interpreted.

5. Speak directly to the source of the message, not the interpreter.

6. Speak in a clear tone at a consistent, natural pace.

7. Pause regularly at the end of concepts or between units of meaning.

8. Avoid slang, idiomatic, and culturally-based expressions.

9. Avoid cross talk and asking multiple questions at one time.

10. Schedule regular breaks to avoid mental fatigue of the interpreter.

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