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What Are The Qualities To Look For In An Interpreter?

Posted on: July 26, 2021 by admin

The need for interpretation and translation services continues to grow and as the demand increases, it is increasingly important to being able to find a high-quality interpreter. An interpreter’s job requires much more than speaking and interpreting two languages. There are a number of qualities that you should look for when choosing an interpreter. These are some of the most important qualities to look for:

Interpreter Qualifications

When choosing a translator or interpreter, it is important to check whether they are NAATI accredited. NAATI is the accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia. They are responsible for setting the national Australian standards for translations and is the only organisation to issue certification to practitioners who wish to work in this profession in Australia. NAATI is a not-for-profit company that is jointly owned by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments.



Communication and Customer Service Skills

From the most basic level, an interpreter must be able to interpret what is being said word for word. However, it is important that they understand the message’s context and assess how to convey the emotions of those that they are translating while remaining neutral. Another quality to look at is how they communicate with as they are representing that person or business. Thus, the interpreter must reflect the message and communicate it in the correct manner. As interpreters work in a variety of situations, it is more than just someone’s language they are working with but with peoples’ culture and thus they must forge that human connection when providing the service.

A key part of interpreters’ communication and interpersonal skills is their cultural understanding. Interpreters must be culturally diverse to accurately communicate with or on behalf of someone. Body language is another key part of communication, although this is not interpreted word for word however, it must convey the essential meaning that may be culturally specific to that particular situation. Interpreters need to be able to communicate the ‘non-spoken word’ along with the spoken word.


Knowledge and Experience

Interpretation is demanding, it is one of the most difficult language skills to obtain. Translating content from one language to another is about doing it instantaneously. Hence the need for experience and knowledge of the field they are interpreting. This is most relevant in certain industries such as the medical and legal fields. The choice of an interpreter should depend on their knowledge of both languages and the given topic they are interpreting.


Do they have a professional attitude?

As mentioned, interpreters work in varied situations and can often be exposed to confidential information in sensitive situations. It is imperative that the interpreter should have a professional attitude and treat every situation with the utmost confidentiality. It is also important that the interpreter remains a neutral party and is only used for communication and interpretation services between languages, they should not relay a paraphrased version of a speaker’s message and should avoid giving a personal opinion on a subject. It is recommended that you check with references and other sources of information in order to get a sense of the character of potential interpreters.


It can be difficult choosing an interpreter with the correct knowledge and experience. If you are looking for a NAATI accredited interpreter, talk to us today by contacting us online or calling 1300 000 795 to receive a FREE quote.