It was around the 3rd millennium BC, in ancient Egypt, when we find the first reference about interpreters who were mainly used in public administration. Since then, interpreters have been used in all aspects of life. However, there is still a misconception that they are only used for specific occasions, such as in international institutions and conferences, in public events or in courts. The truth is that experienced interpreters can be proved useful on more occasions, including in business meetings.

As conducting business with international partners is a common practice, the possibility of the two parts not speaking the same language is quite high. Taking into consideration that it is more than necessary to get all points across, in a clear way, the presence of an experienced interpreter can ensure the success of a business meeting.

Why do you need an experienced interpreter in a business meeting?

This is a question that is posed frequently before a meeting with an international partner. In many cases, a bilingual employee or a family member that speaks a specific language is preferred over a professional interpreter, as a more budget-friendly option. Nevertheless, in a crucial business meeting, a more secure option should be used. A professional interpreter has the proper educational background, has been trained and has acquired the necessary work experience to perform this task.

In a business meeting where all ideas should be communicated in a clear way, where there is no margin for miscommunication or confusion, getting an inexperienced individual as your interpreter is quite risky for the outcome of the meeting. An experienced interpreter has dealt with similar occasions before and is specialized in conveying the right message in an accurate and efficient way. To accomplish this, more than just a simple knowledge of the language is needed. The ideas should be well comprehended, the appropriate choice of terminology should be used, any language-specific elements should be taken care of.

How to guarantee a successful business meeting

Business meetings are scheduled to discuss specific aspects of an existing cooperation or a future one. In these cases, particular jargon may be used, along with individuals’ names and/or company information. Also, the discussed content could be confidential, which makes the choice of the interpreter, one more issue to worry about. Choosing someone not suitable for this task may turn out to be an unpleasant surprise for you and your partner. Interpreters who have experience working in such settings, are always prepared before a meeting. They have researched the involved partners and the specific terminology that will be used, to be as accurate as possible while interpreting. Apart from that, professional interpreters are bound by codes of ethics to ensure everything discussed in the meeting remains confidential.

Additionally, the presence of an experienced interpreter in your business meeting is a demonstration of your professionalism. The interpreter speaks on your behalf and becomes the spokesperson of your company. When the interpreter is well trained, well prepared and competent, this is also a projection of your attitude towards your partners. It demonstrates that you care about them and you give them the opportunity to express themselves in their native language, with eloquence, as well as understand everything that you say. The interpreter is not just a hired professional that will simply transfer what you say in another language, he/she is your teammate working with you to make the meeting a success.

One good turn deserves another

As it was mentioned earlier, an experienced interpreter is your teammate in the business meeting. For that reason, you need to be as helpful as possible, to make sure that your cooperation will be thriving:

  • Make sure that you have given your interpreter a list of the names and titles that will be mentioned in the meeting; it will help the interpreter transfer all necessary information accurately.
  • In case there is a presentation that will be used in the meeting, or any other document relevant to it containing useful terminology, ensure that it is sent to the interpreter a few days before the meeting. This will provide context of what will be discussed and it will save a great deal of time during the meeting.
  • Apart from any documents or presentations, make sure to explain to your interpreter what the goals for this meeting are, what is the purpose of the meeting. It will be really helpful since the interpreter could then explain and clearly inform your partners about the meeting goals.
  • It is equally important to inform your interpreter about where the meeting will take place, whether it’s at a conference hall or at the company’s offices and if you are going to use any specific equipment, such as microphones. In this case, a professional interpreter may have suggestions on the best equipment to use for each case.


Hiring an interpreter for your business meeting may seem like an additional, unnecessary cost. Nevertheless, communicating with your partners in a clear way, without gaps or miscommunication and projecting an image of professionalism for your business will prove more valuable and save you more time and money in the long run.

Are you looking for interpreting services for your next meeting? Then contact our friendly team!