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5 Common Myths of Professional Interpreting Services at Exhibitions

Last modified on 12 Nov 2016

When companies plan to visit conferences or exhibitions or to negotiate with foreign partners, they usually hire intepreters even though their employees speak English freely.  A good consecutive interpreter at your stand is a guarantee of understanding with foreign partners.

However, an interpreter does cost money. And in any similar situation a question arises – Are interpreter required or the company can manage without them?

1.We don’t need aN INTErPRETEr! Company’s employees know English and can explain anything to anyone at an exhibition.

This myth is born by another common misbelief that all foreign guests of international exhibitions know English well. Politely saying, it is not so. Why do you think almost all the big companies have interpreters among their regular staff or outsourcing contracts with translation agencies?

And it is like that because even those foreign guests who speak English very frequently know it at the level of standard dialogues and greetings. Your clumsy attempts to describe your product to a Chinese investor in English will only show your narrrow vision. Try to discuss with them technical peculiarities or advantages of your products; you will hit the wall of misunderstanding. Many companies hire professional guides not instead, but in addition to their interpreters. Because while it is about interpretation of business matters, specialized interpreter will work well. And when it comes to taking you foreign partner on Moscow City Tour to bind him to your company, it is the guide who will bind your foreign partner to you and your company. This is their very special art, forged with more than 10 years of working as a VIP tour guide Moscow.

And do i even need to say that a quality presentation of your company product, should be conducted in perfect English, and preferrably some other foreing languages? If you decide to save on interpreting services, you may find youself in an embarassing situation.

2.  All foreigners who do not know Russian come to exhibitions with an interpreter. If you come to Russia, speak Russian or have an interpreter!

To have a stand at an exhibition with the support in English and even better, in other one-two popular languages, it is not a whim it is the question of the company’s image. If the company does not give required attention to it, many representatives of foreign and international companies will note that down. So you beeter be prepared and order interpreting services to be sure that you and you company will look solid, and will be able to deliever your vision to your foreign partner intact.
One can try to “save” and open a stand at an international exhibition without an interpreter, hoping that all guests will understand the broken English of employees or will know Russian, and will understand why they need that product or service. In the end, the “saving” may turn out the way that a client interested in your products will go to your competitors.
Imagine yourself someway at an exhibition in Brazil:  to which stand would you go and with whom you would conduct negotiations? Where everything is in Portuguese and it is not all clear what is on sale? Or where you will be approached in ideal Russian or English and you will be told in great detail about the products or possibilities of collaboration?

3.Interpreters! it is very expensive! We are not a super corporation; we are a regular company and cannot afford such a luxury.

15-20 years ago it was true. In the USSR good translators were taught in the MGIMO University and other few institutions, and even those did not have an opportunity to go abroad for a language practice. That’s why in 90-ies only a few people were proficient English users, not mentioning more rare languages; obviously, their services were very expensive and demand was much higher than supply.
But time has changes. Many language schools offer their services; foreign philology is present in almost every big college. Now for acquiring language practice there is no need to travel – Skype and other similar programs allow communicating with anyone in the world.
Now more people know foreign languages and have special linguistics education; it means that their services become cheaper. But still, interpreter should posess a certain professional skills and competencies, so you must be careful, because the Internet is filled with "interpreters" offering their services, but barely knows their languages, not to mention appearance and professionalism.

4.INTErPRETERS are parasites who earn money on ignorance of their client; something similar to rent brokers and sellers of Kirby vacuum cleaners. who doesn’t know English in the 21st century?

According to the data of the Public Opinion Research Centre, only 37% of Russian top-managers know one foreign language, 73% of them know English, and 19 % German. Only 4% know two languages.
In other countries, especially in Asia the situation is not much better. At the same time, international business requires achieving difficult multi-level agreements. And can we talk about agreement when one party speaks Chinese and another Russian? The companies that hire translators/interpreters get a great advantage in comparison to those who neglect it, relying on the knowledge of its employees and the presence of an interpreter at the foreign partner/client’s side. You may also want to take your partner on a Moscow City Tour. The mutual cultural experience will provide a nice distraction from hardline negotiations, and will warm up your partner and help strike a profitable deal.

5.findING a good INTERPRETER is difficult. As the demand is not constant, only students with the doubtful language knowledge  offer their services.

It is true. Affordability of language courses have “created” huge numbers of people with the mediocre knowledge of a foreign language, who do not have special training to work as an interpreter nor required talents.

With Pradiz you do not have to worry about it! Working more than 5 years in the field of tour operation for foreigners, all our interpreters-guides have huge experience in dealing with foreign guests, along with VIP guests of the highest level from companies like Shell, Unilever, Marriot, Karl Storz, BCG and others. Many companies entrust the cultural entertainment of their employees to us.

We diversify into consecutive interpreting services. Our interpreters-guides are professionals with the great experience and many of them know two-three languages. Order our interpreting services for an exhibition or for escorting of your manager during negotiations - and experience the difference!

 

About the author

Diana Zalenskaya, a travel professional and destination expert for Moscow, Russia.