Things to bear in mind when getting a price for interpreting – Part II

We have already looked at the first two things to bear in mind when seeking interpreting services – the suitable form of interpreting and the meeting timetable. Now let’s look at another two factors:

The languages. Before deciding to reduce the number of languages at your meeting, or limiting interventions to English, think about this: if you are trying to explain a complicated idea, or your opinion on a sensitive subject, then do you really think you can clearly transmit your meaning in a language that is not your own? The temptation to limit the number of languages is always there as a way to reduce costs; however, given the whole purpose of the meeting is to communicate, are you sure you can’t find another way to make savings? If you cannot cater for all the languages spoken by participants, then think about what languages may be common to the majority. Also do not forget: if there are debates or questions and answer sessions, then it is not enough to seek interpretation from the speaker’s language into that of the audience. When audience members ask questions, they must do so in the speaker’s language or have their questions interpreted into that language: otherwise the speaker may not understand the question.

The venue. Choosing a “different” venue for your meeting may be aesthetically pleasing, but it could prove impractical. You must take some technical factors into account: for example, does the venue have interpreting cabinets? And if it does, are they suitable and are there enough? Bear in mind that projection rooms and storage cupboards are not interpreting cabinets. Does the venue have working technical equipment? If there are no cabinets, will the venue allow them to be installed in such a way as to meet the requirements of space between them and the stage or in a place where the interpreter can see the stage and the speaker?

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