Importance of the Original Nationality in Interpreting Services

Importance of the Original Nationality in Interpreting Services

Interpreters play a crucial role in many situations, providing a voice to individuals who otherwise would not be heard. Similar but distinct from translation, interpreting services apply to the spoken word rather than written text.

For this reason, an interpreter may have more personal contact than a translator, and this creates more complexity. For this reason, the original nationality of the interpreter can be relevant with native speakers highly sought after.

Here’s a look at just why having native speakers is so important, and the value they bring.

Context and Understanding

An interpreter’s job is not to add their own meaning or words to what a client has to say, but simply to convey what has been said into another language. This may sound simple but for a language like Japanese, it’s more complicated than you might imagine in the context of interpreting services.

Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn in the world because it’s not just a matter of learning the vocabulary and grammatical structure. Japanese doesn’t translate very well literally and an interpreter who doesn’t have an innate understanding of certain phrases may struggle to find an equivalent wording in English.

In addition, many aspects of the Japanese language are not explicitly stated. This can include gender and the subject of a sentence. This information is gained from context and from a deep understanding of what’s being said. It’s very challenging for a non-native to develop the necessary level of expertise in Japanese to be able to interpret this accurately all of the time. With at least five years of experiences, Native translators of Takara International (HK) Ltd. has ample understanding of the Japanese language to provide you with quality and sound translation.

Cultural Sensitivity

Different cultures have different sensitivities and it’s not always obvious where these differences lie. In a culture such as Japan where great emphasis is placed on formality, manners and social behaviour, it’s easy to accidentally cause embarrassment or insult.

Having a native interpreter can soften the impact of any tactless words or phrases, as they will instinctively understand what is likely to be a problem. This doesn’t mean that they will change your words, but they may know to apologise for having to ask a certain question, for example.

Some subjects may be taboo or very difficult for an individual to discuss, and if you don’t have a detailed knowledge of Japanese culture, it’s easy to overlook this. If an individual is unwilling or unable to respond, it can be frustrating if you don’t understand why. Having an interpreter who is native means they will be able to explain why the individual may be reluctant to answer.

Although the Japanese are renowned for their polite demeanour, there has been some friction with other nations, South Korea and China especially. Having an interpreter from another country may cause conflict if the individual has experienced problems in the past.

If you need interpreting services in such a given, sensitive situation, all of this cultural awareness will be particularly invaluable. The individual may feel more comfortable with someone from their own country, and be willing to open up and speak to the interpreter more freely than if they were from another country.

No Replacement for Original Ethnicity

Although there are many interpreters around the world, when it comes to a language like Japanese there’s just no replacement for native speakers. Being from the country originally provides an advantage that ensures communication is precise, accurate and easy.

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