when professional interpreters should be used

When Should Professional Interpreters Be Used?

In partnership with Day Translations. You should use a professional interpreter in all situations that require expert advice, in a formal and business environment, particularly when the subject matter for discussion is of a technical, confidential, highly specialised nature.

Circumstances that Require Professional Interpreters

Professional interpreters make life easier for people who are not able to communicate using a common language and this is especially true when dealing with institutions and specialists, as well as in many business situations.


The main sector where professional interpreters are absolutely necessary is in healthcare. Only a qualified interpreter has the knowledge to relay confidential information from a patient to their healthcare provider in an accurate manner, with the right terminology and with diplomacy.

The medical professional will address the patient directly and the role of the interpreter is to speak in the first person as the patient. This is often done over the phone or video.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians medical interpreters are absolutely vital to ensure many Americans whose first language is not English get the right access to healthcare. Quoting from a US Census report, about 25 million Americans may not receive adequate care because of language barriers.

This means that a professional interpreter allows patients to inform the medical doctor and give accurate information about their condition, so that they receive the correct treatment and prescription. Day Interpreting, part of Day Translations, published a blog about medical interpreting that explains this in more detail.


It can be daunting for someone who does not speak a local language to interact with the legal system. Any dealing with authorities, particularly immigration officers, the police force and the court system requires the presence of a professional interpreter to ensure that the client’s needs are addressed and that justice is served.

Situations that call for professional interpreters include, for example, court hearings, processing visa applications, or preliminary talks before agreeing the terms of a contract.

Legal interpreters have the language skills and the command of the terminology that make them indispensable. The appropriate use of professional interpreters ensures that the individuals who aren’t able to communicate in the local language can explain what they require efficiently and can receive information on available services or instructions as to any legal processes they must follow.

The role of the interpreter is to be neutral and to ensure that all parties get the opportunity to understand what they are required to do. Legal interpreters have to replicate what the court, legal representatives and clients say without changing the meaning or omitting anything from each speech. They must adhere to strict standards to guarantee accuracy and confidentiality.


Conferences, exhibitions and other events of all sizes attracting international delegates benefit from the presence of professional interpreters to translate keynote addresses, panel discussions, questions and answers sessions, product demonstrations and more. The size of the event dictates how many interpreters are needed based on the number of languages the delegates speak.

Video-based meetings across multiple time zones with participants who do not share a common language benefit from having one or more remote interpreters. Their attendance supports the smooth running of the meeting avoiding unnecessary delays.

Interpreters possess the correct terminology to communicate effectively and this leads to better negotiations, as each interaction takes place with a sense of confidence preventing misunderstandings.

When discussing a deal, the interpreter is aware of the cultural differences between the parties and will give each side the opportunity to gain a better insight of a proposal, while staying faithful to the meaning of what is being discussed.

Corporate interpreters play a vital role in negotiations and public relations because they have the knowledge of local customs, including deploying the right body language such as how to greet clients according to how they are used to in their own country. Video is a rich medium for interpreting that includes non-verbal cues and can fit seamlessly into meetings.

Professional interpreters act as a bridge between two or more parties and they contribute to the successful outcome of medical consultations, legal proceedings and business events.