It can be very useful having your document translated over the phone. It gets it done just when you need it and if there are nay niggling issues about the interpretation of terms, especially legal ones, they can be sorted out there and then rather than having endless emails sent between the translator and the client.
Having said that, live document translation is not an easy skill to master. Like any task, practice makes perfect. Here are some tips for document interpretation over the phone that may come in useful, whether you are the client or the translator /interpreter.
Keep your Listening Environment Clear of Noise and Other Distractions
This may not be obvious at first, but having no auditory “noise” around you will make a lot of difference. If you are the translator / interpreter this may mean designating a special place where there is no surrounding distraction and you can hear the client clearly. Of course, any phone conversation is as good as the weakest link, so there is little point in the translator having an excellent environment to work in if the client is trying to make sense of what is being translated in a busy, noisy office.
If Using a Cell Phone, Make Sure the Signal is Strong
The whole point of live document translation is that it can be done wherever you are, and whenever it is needed. That means that it is inevitable that a cell phone is going to be use at some point. If you do have to resort to using a cell phone, it is vital that the signal is strong, even if you have to reschedule an over the phone translation until signal strength is good enough or until a land line can be used instead.
TSlow, Clear Speech is the Best
One of the most important tips for document interpretation over the phone is the quality of your speech. This is particularly important for the translator / interpreter. Translation tasks over the phone are not normal phone conversations where it is not so important whether every word is heard. Both people involved need to talk slowly, evenly and clearly, without any emotional undertones.
Allow for a Question and Answer Session
If your document is a legal one, it is important that any new legal terms or issues are explained to begin with. There may be several questions that either the client, or the translator / interpreter, need to ask and it is best to allocate this period to the beginning of the phone conversation, rather than interrupt the flow of the translation while it is in full throttle.