Working with an interpreter is a unique experience, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help our clients make the most of the experience.
- Always speak directly to the person you are meeting with. For example, ask “Do you like the color red?” do not say to the interpreter “Ask her if she likes the color red”.
- Pause between long sentences to allow the interpreter time to interpret. Wait for the interpreter to finish before beginning your next question or statement.
- It may be helpful to meet with the interpreter briefly before the meeting starts to provide some background information about the case and your objectives for the appointment.
- Interpreters are not lawyers, doctors, or social workers. They can only interpret for these experts and should not be expected to review legal documents, explain medical procedures or register someone for social services without a professional present.
- Interpreters are supposed to be neutral third parties. Please do not ask the interpreter to call your client directly because this can lead to professional boundaries being crossed. Confirmation phone calls can be arranged through TFLI.