What You Should Know When Interpreting to Multicultural Clients
Soon enough, America’s future will be “majority, minority”. There will no longer be minority consumers, patients or clients by 2045 in the United States. But Why?
Given the size and projected growth of multicultural groups in the United States as a larger part of the market, there has been careful consideration of the buying habits and needs of many multicultural people. Whether their buying your product, if your treating them as a patient, or if they are a client of yours, businesses should consider the multicultural habits, as well as the media and cultural preferences of these populations, it can benefit their business tremendously both now and in the future.
What is culture?
Culture is a combination of the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people. Characteristics such as language, traditions and different customs linked to religion, music and art. Language is without a doubt linked to culture. An interpreter needs to have knowledge and understanding of both to communicate across cultures. The close relationship between mankind and language makes translation and interpretation the greatest tool for worldwide understanding of one another.
Today, we’ll be sharing three things interpreters should consider when it comes to understanding different cultures.
- Exposure to the language in a variety of situations is a good place to start.
Having the opportunity to work in another country, or around another culture can provide insight into cultural norms and provide terminology can could be challenging when interpreting. Knowing the language will not just do the job of interpreting, it’s important to know the lingo and ways of the culture to better help interpret to your clients.
- Interpreters need to be familiar with both business and social settings.
In business and social settings, it is important to know the difference between the two. When interpreting for one business to the other, you should know the practice of the business in each culture and how the operate. When interpreting in a social setting, a good starting point is to know what topics of conversation are taboo in that culture.
Professional interpreters should know more than just the language they are interpreting. They must know the culture. They also need to commit themselves to an ongoing process of learning, so they can be up to date with current events and can act accordingly when working with cultures that may be sensitive to certain words, phrases or delivery methods.