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Doing business in Mexico – Interpreters and interpreting

International Business Opportunities

Doing business in Mexico – Interpreters and interpreting

Building business relationships takes time and of course the right approach. As part of your marketing strategy you may well be considering a visit, presentation or conference.

As you know, Spanish is spoken in Mexico. To help overcome the language barrier you should consider appointing a Spanish interpreter or in some cases interpreters. In the eyes of your potential customer it shows respect and a clear sign you want to build a meaningful and long lasting business relationship. It also means you start on a firm footing. But interpreters aren’t cheap and there are a few guidelines to help make sure you see a good return on your investment.

Let’s start by looking at the different types of interpreting. There are two and which one depends on the situation you have in mind.

For a business meeting, you will need a consecutive interpreter.

For a conference environment, you will need a simultaneous interpreter and more often than not at least two.

The common dominator in both cases is preparation and making the interpreter part of your team. This mindset approach will pay dividends.

Preparation should include what you are hoping to achieve. Whilst this might sound obvious sharing objectives brings unity and in some cases given the skill of the interpreter they may be able to inject some value into the process to help those objectives be realised better.

Based on your industry sector the appointed interpreter will be familiar if not educated and qualified in that area. However, your business is unique and you know your business better than anyone.

Share technical terms, USPs, specialist phrases or product features and an insight into the business itself, history and build up to where you are hoping to do business in Mexico, will again bring value to the process.

If you are planning a conference, make your notes available well in advance. The interpreter can then prep, ask questions and practice.

Try and stick closely to your script when delivering your speech. Remember the interpreter is relaying what you say in English immediately into Spanish … so going ‘off-piste’ could mean themes get lost.

Simultaneous interpreting is hard work and most interpreters tend to work in time segments of about 20 minutes. Working in pairs gives them time to recoup, with no interpretations.

An additional cost you will need to budget for is specialist equipment. Sound booths and audio equipment are the main ticket items.

The hire of these will in most cases include the construction and deconstruction on site by an engineer. You will however be expected to cover subsistence and travel expenses for both the engineer and the interpreters, unless otherwise agreed.

So what other things should you factor in?

Speak clearly.

Double your presentation time for consecutive interpreting.

Stay clear of jargon and jokes do sometimes get lost in translation, so again avoid.

If you do wish to personalise your presentation … think compliment.

Finish sentences and make your point … half finished sentences won’t help.

Written by Darren Elliott.

Why the article? You’re not experts in this field.

True but we do strive to understand our client markets, so our clients benefit from a better level of service when it comes to translation and legalisation … www.tlcuk.biz.