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How to work effectively with interpreters

Holding a conversation via a third party is a strange experience. It’s slow, it’s a little clunky and even with the best of interpreters it isn’t easy. Have you been trained yet in this difficult skill? Without training, you may not be making the most out of the interpreting services you receive.


Who is the training for?

This course is for if you have to rely on guesswork in order to recognise the behavior of a skilled interpreter, and have not been trained in the conventions of working with an interpreter. It covers both face to face and telephone interpreting and will be useful for staff in the following settings-

  • Health care

  • Social work and advocacy

  • Immigration

  • Social care

  • Legal and judiciary

  • Policing

The two main skills gaps

By the end of the webinar you will have gained two skills. You will know how to work in harmony with an interpreter and how to identify competence in interpreter.

Work in harmony with an interpreter

The reality is that it often falls to interpreters to educate staff on how to communicate appropriately. Furthermore, staff sometimes have unrealistic expectations of what the interpreter can and can't be expected to do. Among other things, this course covers-

  • Where to seat everyone 

  • How to communicate appropriately

  • Common mistakes: how not to drive your interpreter crazy

  • How to brief and debrief

  • Questions you shouldn't expect your interpreter to answer

  • Tasks you shouldn't ask your interpreter to do.

Identify competence in an interpreter

Did you know that the role of interpreter is not a protected profession? Unlike lawyers or doctors, there is nothing to prevent unqualified people from working in this field. For this reason the course covers-

  • Levels of training within the profession

  • Signs that your interpreter is skilled and trained.

  • Things an ethical interpreter would never do.

Click here to read five free tips on how to receive a good quality interpreting service, or book your place on a webinar to learn everything you need to know.​

For individuals and for organisations

If you are an individual click here to buy a ticket for our next multi-agency webinar. If you would like to book this course for your organisation you have two options. Our workshops are trainer led and include a consultation process to include a bespoke element. Our eLearning version is ideal for organisations with a large workforce - click here to watch an excerpt. eLearning is flexible so employees can access it at a time convenient to them. If you would like to know more, get in touch. 


Do you know?

Do you know how you sound to non English speakers?

Find out on our communication skills course, and learn how to be more easily understood.


Are you sure?

Are you sure you know what you're saying when you use machine translation? Google Translate does amazing things if you learn to use it with the caution it deserves.

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