13 tips to get the most out of your interpreting session.


There are many ways you can save time and get the most out of your interpreting session. TIS National, our Translating and Interpreting Service, has put together some top tips for you.

  1. Introduce yourself and brief the interpreter on the main topics you will be discussing.
  2. Always speak in the first person and speak directly to the non-English speaker.
  3. Allow the interpreter to clarify information if necessary.
  4. Use clear language and short sentences.
  5. Avoid using jargon, slang, idioms or proverbs.
  6. Include a pause after each sentence to allow the interpreter to interpret the information to the non-English speaker.

Tips for your on-site interpreting session:

  1. Be sure to have a private area organised where the session can take place.
  2. Allow time prior to the session to brief the interpreter so they have an understanding of what the session entails.
  3. Arrange seating in a triangular form to allow for easy communication between the interpreter and the client.
  4. It is ideal to position yourself so that the non-English speaking client is directly facing you and the interpreter is sitting to the side.

Tips for your phone interpreting session:

  1. Ensure the interpreter knows what type of telephone you are using and if they are on speaker phone.
  2. If it is a long call, the interpreter may require a few minutes break on the half-hour.
  3. Clearly indicate the end of the conference call to everyone involved.

Want more tips? Watch our video Hints and tips for working with interpreters.

If you need an interpreter or know someone who does, visit TIS National at www.tisnational.gov.au

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