avoid mistake while phone interpreting

How to Avoid Mistakes with Over the Phone Interpreting

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2020)
How to Avoid Mistakes with Over the Phone Interpreting

It would be unrealistic to expect humans to live their lives without making mistakes. If we were born perfect, we never would have learned new things. A lot of the things we have today, a lot of the inventions whose benefits we enjoy every day, only became possible because we dared to try despite knowing that we could fail. Even today, we continue to try and fail so we can figure out the solution to a lot of problems. Scientists search for cures of deadly diseases every day. They have to experiment to know if something will work or not. But a lot of time it doesn’t work until one day it does. Had they been afraid of failure they never would have tried in the first place. We are able to fight a lot of diseases today because we weren’t afraid to fail.

Everywhere you look, you can find examples where experts failed miserably but didn’t give up. Before humans stepped on the moon, there were many failed attempts. Each failure brought us closer to success. But if we had given up before achieving success, we never would have known it. However, accepting the possibility of failure and not trying to eliminate mistakes are two different things.

We know that we can fail but at the same time, we also know that with practice, we can reduce the number of mistakes we might make. Athletes present the best example of this. They practice every single day for hours so they don’t make mistakes on the field. Sure, they will still end up making a couple because they are humans at the end of the day but with each passing day, the number of blunders will reduce. Practice and experience are something that turns amateurs into experts but it requires time, effort, and dedication.

Even the experts keep on practicing so they don’t fall behind. When you slip up even after all the practicing, you don’t feel so bad because you tried your best to prevent such things from happening. And someone who doesn’t practice makes far too many errors to be ignored. People sometimes get overconfident and rely too much on their knowledge but it is one thing to read about something or watch a tutorial and another to actually do it. No one can become good at something without ever trying. You may know the theoretical aspects of something but without actually doing it, your knowledge will have no practical use.

avoid mistake while phone interpreting

Telephone Interpreting:

phone intreting over phone

If somebody had told Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 that one day the device that he has invented will help people of different languages to connect, he wouldn’t have believed it. But our desire to keep improving things has brought numerous benefits into our lives. One of them is the many uses of telephone and how it has helped every industry of the world. Just like telephone, translation has also helped every industry. But the power of both these things combined was unimaginable to people until it became a reality.

Today, telephone interpreting is a very important thing for multinational businesses and the healthcare industry. It is fast, cost effective, and delivers result every time. However, things can go wrong in this perfect interpreting system too.

Mistakes to Avoid in Over the Phone Interpreting:


Whether you are the one interpreting or the one who hired the interpreter, there are a few mistakes you should avoid to make sure the process runs smoothly and proves to be beneficial for everyone involved. Here is what not to do during over the phone interpreting:

  1. Don’t Address the Interpreter:

When you are in a meeting and the interpreter is on the line, you don’t have to address them with things like “ask them if they are okay with this”. You should address the other people in the meeting directly and the interpreter will translate your words accordingly. If you address them, you will be confusing them and they will need longer to translate each sentence.

  1. Avoid Speaking for Long:

Your interpreter will start translating your conversation as soon as you stop. But if you speak too many sentences at once, it will be troubling for them to remember everything. Be considerate and speak fewer sentences or one long sentence at a time. This way they will be able to translate you quickly and efficiently.

  1. Drop the Jargon:

Unless you have to absolutely use a difficult word, it is better to stick to the simpler ones. It is better for both your interpreter and other parties in the meeting that you use simple words.

This rule also applies to the interpreter because if they used difficult words when translating, they will be confusing the people involved in the conversation.

  1. Don’t Ignore the Context:

Interpreters should know beforehand what a meeting is going to be about. This way, they will know the context of the conversation and will be able to translate accordingly. A word can have multiple meanings but if they don’t know in which sense the word was used in the conversation, they won’t know which meaning fits better.

  1. Don’t Rush the Interpreter:

Sometimes, your interpreter may need a few seconds to figure out how best to interpret your statement. When you notice a pause from their side, don’t rush or interrupt them. Let them take their time to come up with the translation.

Telephone interpreting is a useful tool but be sure to avoid the mistakes mentioned above if you want to get the most out of it.