Language Line Tips

Language Line Tips:

  1. Tell the interpreter the nature of the call.
  2. Speak directly to the limited English speaker, not to the interpreter. For example, do not say “Please ask her when she moved in.” Simply say “When did you move in?”
  3. Pause at the end of each complete thought to allow the interpreter time to translate.
  4. Begin your conversation by explaining the role of the interpreter to the client.
  5. Avoid if possible:
    1. Idiomatic expressions
    2. Jokes
    3. Proverbs
    4. Acronyms
    5. ‘Legalese’
    6. Regional uses
    7. Slang
    8. Ambiguous words or terms
    9. Culturally specific terms or expressions.
  6. Don’t speak at the same time that someone else is speaking.
  7. If you are a fast talker, slow your speech.
  8. If you think the interpreter has made a mistake, don’t challenge him or her. Rephrase the question.
  9. Ask the client if there is anything they don’t understand.
  10. Remember:
    1. Depending on the target language, the interpreters may need time to translate legal concepts that are just one word in English.
    2. The interpreter is going to interpret everything you say for the client.
    3. The interpreter may ask for clarification for words or phrases that seem straightforward to you. This is normal, and the interpreter is just adhering to high standards of language interpretation.
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