“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur” – this slogan has being doing the rounds on social media in various formats for a while, with a clear message highlighting the importance of using only qualified professionals. This is true for interpreters too and it is reassuring that some organisations, which use interpreters on a regular basis, train and issue guidelines for their staff to follow when working with interpreters.
Many of them have the same advice at its core, and one of the recommendations is to brief the interpreter before any interpreting can commence. The importance of briefing is demonstrated, for example, in an awareness film produced by Cambridgeshire Constabulary where one of the situations shows how things can go wrong if the briefing stage is omitted. Amongst other things, Nursing Matters online advises practitioners to establish the mode of interpreting - consecutive or simultaneous - prior to the session.
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