How to book an interpreter
This page tells you how to how to book an interpreter from the Powers. It also explains about short notice bookings and cancellations. You should also read the section on good practice when using an interpreter.
How to book
When booking an interpreter, give clear information about the proposed assignments. You will be asked to provide the following information:
The language you need (remember, there are no such languages as ¡°English¡± or ¡°Chinese¡±, so contact the Powers and ask for advice if unsure).
The date, time and duration of the assignment.
The contact name and designation of the staff member working with the interpreter and who to contact in case of delay.
The assignment address and whereabouts you wish to meet them (e.g. reception, ward number).
The name of the service user, so that the interpreter can identify if the service user is known to them and could compromise their impartiality.
What the case is about, so that the interpreter can find out about any terminology or procedures in advance, if there is time.
The number of people who will need interpreting at the meeting. For large meetings we
may advise using two or more interpreters.
Hiring a Consecutive Interpreter, things to be aware of:
1. A minimum of 2 interpreters are required for continuous service of more than a couple of hours.
2. Having adequate and timely background information ahead of interpreting assignment is vital.
a. Provide background material so that we can research any technical terms and jargon. This includes website addresses, company brochures, journals or publications for business interpretation. Provide drafts of speeches and explain any specialized vocabulary. We use this information to match a qualified interpreter with the expertise to suit your needs.
b. Provide a breakdown of how the day will be structured so that the interpreters can begin to plan their work. It is very likely that one of them has specialist knowledge which would be best used during a particular part of a presentation. (A good way to approach this is to think of an interpreter as someone who has just joined your company to start a new job. There will undoubtedly be acronyms, technical terms and affiliations which will be unfamiliar to them. Briefing him or her on such issues before the assignment will lead to a far more satisfactory day for all involved).
c. Subject & Event
What topics will be discussed and what kind of situation is it? Who will be attending?
d. Date, Time, Duration
Be as accurate as possible so that we can find someone who will be available on that day.
We will always try to locate an interpreter as close to your location as possible. This saves on both traveling time and traveling expenses.
Pricing and Payment for Interpretation
Our rates are based on a minimum 4 hours booking charge (half day).
We will always attempt to secure an available interpreter/voiceover artist as close to the client¡¯s venue as possible. [Subject to early booking.]
The full-day fee is charged for eight hours of an interpreter¡¯s time which includes seven work hours plus a one-hour break. The half-day fee is charged for three or fewer hours of an interpreter¡¯s time, including breaks. If more than three hours of an interpreter¡¯s time are required in a day, the full-day fee is charged regardless of whether the interpreter works a full seven hours. When more than eight hours of an interpreter¡¯s time are required, the overtime charge is added. An additional fee may be charged for early-morning and late-night interpreting work depending on the project. In the case of tour-group interpreting, each hour that the interpreter spends with the tour group (i.e., from group assembly to dismissal) is considered a work hour (i.e., lunch and other breaks are included as work hours).
The full-day fee is charged for one-day ¡°business trips¡± even if the number of hours worked is three or fewer. No half-day fees are applied in the case of business trips.
Hiring Simultaneous Interpreters - things to be aware of
1 .A minimum of 2 interpreters are required for continuous service of more than a couple of hours. Simultaneous interpreting demands so much concentration that any individual can only hope to be effective for periods of 20 minutes or so. After that time they will need to hand off to a fellow interpreter and rest. While resting they will continue to follow the proceedings and prepare for their next slot. For an event lasting more than a couple of hours, 2 interpreters are required to allow adequate rest periods. Many interpreters will refuse assignments unless they have a deputy, ideally, someone they have worked with before.
2 .Specialized equipment is required. Simultaneous interpreters require a sound proof booth within view of the speaker. A clear audio feed from the speaker to the interpreters' headphones is required. Each interpreter must be equipped with a microphone to relay the interpreted audio to the audience via headphones.
3. Having adequate and timely background information ahead of a simultaneous interpreting assignment is vital. As the interpreting is being carried out in real-time, there is no scope for going back and correcting mistakes. If at all possible please;
Provide drafts of speeches and explain any specialized vocabulary.
Provide a breakdown of how the day will be structured so that the interpreters can begin to plan their work. It is very likely that one of them has specialist knowledge which would be best used during a particular part of a presentation.
While we may have made it sound frightening, organizing a successful event is really a matter of forward planning. We will be happy to advise and help make your event a real success.