Better Languages used to provide Nottingham interpreting services for a wide range of needs. This included business meetings and conferences, as well as court interpreting. We also interpreted for statutory agencies including Social Services and the NHS.

We have substantially rewritten this 2008 article in January 2018 in order to reflect substantial changes in our interpreting services.

Public service interpreting

We now only offer interpreting to our regular customers in a limited range of languages and specialisms. The reason for this change is government funding cuts. Public bodies such as the Ministry of Justice do not pay professional rates for interpreting.

Professional Interpreting rates

We only work with qualified interpreters, and we pay professional rates for both interpreting and travel time. I am incredulous that the Government has negotiated public service interpreting contracts which don’t pay interpreters professional rates. They have allowed large agencies to cut terms and conditions, including not compensating adequately for travel time and travel costs.

An undervalued profession

The majority of our interpreters hold post graduate level qualifications in interpreting, and have years of professional practice. Many people think interpreting is about understanding two languages, but there is much more to it than that.

Simultaneous interpreting

Let’s consider simultaneous interpreting. Here the interpreter has to listen to the person who is speaking in one language. They then have to, almost instantaneously, render the same dialogue in the target language. They need to understand both languages, including any specialist vocabulary. The skill is being able to process and interpret into the target language, conveying the equivalent meaning to the target audience.  

Does a good translator make a good interpreter?

Its also a common mistake to think that translators make good interpreters or vice versa. Some linguists are skilled in both disciplines, but they are really quite different.