By Suzanne Quinson
Just as in the litigation world, the business world has seen an increase in interactions with Asia-based companies, necessitating meetings and other communication which can require a combination of videoconference, travel and, of course, interpretation services. When serious capital is involved, one can argue a strong case for contacting a global firm with a prominent presence in Asia. With relationships in hand with top interpreters in Korea, Hong Kong and the entire region, the firm can connect you with the interpreter with the best education and experience for your situation and subject matter (e.g., intellectual property).
You may also want guidance as to the type of interpretation that best meets the requirements of your meeting. There are both simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation, which work pretty much the way they sound. In simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter uses special equipment to listen to the speaker and interpret into a microphone as the primary speaker is still talking. This requires extreme concentration and skill, as the interpreter must focus on accurately interpreting what has just been said seconds ago, while listening to and comprehending what is being said as she herself is speaking. In this type of scenario, interpreters often work in pairs, as frequent breaks are often needed. This type of interpretation is understandably more expensive, and more suitable to very large meetings. Consecutive interpretation is more appropriate for meetings with fewer people, with the speaker stopping every so often (at the end of a complete thought, ideally) for the interpreter to speak. Consecutive interpreting involves deep concentration, as well as note-taking, to ensure details of what was said are not lost.
Whichever interpretation type is appropriate for the situation, it is important that the interpreter is qualified, professional, and has subject matter expertise. This keeps the meeting moving at a good clip (any meeting involving interpretation is necessarily longer than one which does not, so keep that in mind, too) as well as prevents misunderstandings which can lead to unpleasantness or worse. Review CVs presented by the court reporting agency to select your ideal candidate. Arrangements can be made to meet with the interpreter beforehand, if you prefer, and preparation materials can be sent to the interpreter in advance of the meeting. Professional interpreters are very conscientious about preparation and will request as many materials as are available for review, preferably at least a week before the meeting. This ensures that the interpreter is familiar with specific terminology, product names, etc., which are likely to come up in the meeting.
As mentioned above, it is possible some meeting attendees will attend via videoconference, which is all the more reason to have a top-tier interpreter, to make it easier for those participants to follow the proceedings. The reporting agency can reserve a location, if needed (or several, depending on how many participants need this accommodation) and conduct all necessary tests beforehand to ensure a smooth connection and clear audio. You may even want to consider scheduling a realtime reporter to take down the proceedings, providing the feed to both the attendees in the room, as well as any remote attendees via streaming.
The interpreter and reporter can also assist with on-the-ground logistics for your meetings, helping with printing, shredding, hotel recommendations, and just providing the helpful information that becomes second nature to a local in, say, Osaka. For more information on conducting business meetings or interpretation services in Asia, contact Planet Depos International Scheduling at 888.433.3767 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Suzanne Quinson