This is a guest post by Robert Morgan.
The relationship between good communication and body language is an interesting and complicated subject but one that is often overlooked and misunderstood. I’d firstly like to share a personal example of how an ineffective combination of these two factors makes verbal translation and interpretation a near impossible task.
A good friend and colleague of mine moved from Iceland to the UK just over three years ago. He’s a well-educated media professional and having studied English in school and university was very adapt to communicating proficiently in writing, mainly emails. On arriving to the UK, he often found himself misunderstood and confused when he engaged in verbal conversation. The problem wasn’t his lack of knowledge, vocabulary, accent or the speed in which he talked.
Quite simply, he lacked confidence. Very little eye contact, limited expression and a lack in his volume were major contributors to the overall confusion. This exposes a really important point – it takes more than a good working knowledge of a second language to be able to communicate effectively. Subconsciously we all use body language and expression to help us understand each other – Happiness, sadness, anger and excitement make up some of the major emotions that we express, all of which come with body language pinned to them – something that we naturally tune into to help us understand words and context. A simple example would be if somebody says to you ‘I’m really annoyed’. If this was said with an angry expression this would prompt a particular response. Likewise, if this statement was said with a big smile, you could assume that it was being said in a light hearted manner. This expression would inevitably invite a different response.
The point to be made is that an expert translator or interpreter will undoubtedly possess the skills to not only deliver an accurate language conversion but will also couple the expression that completes the package. This only comes naturally when a translator has considerable experience or communicates in their mother tongue. So considering the above, the selection of an interpreter for a public speaking event, online business meeting or promotion will be paramount to the success of the delivery of an important message.
Online platforms such as bubloos.com open up the global market and are a great tool that can be used to connect with relevant translators and interpreters. Remember to shortlist and communicate well with freelancers prior to contracting them. Things to remember:
i) Communicate the project brief thoroughly. Get the details down in writing and be clear on the deliverables.
ii) Understand that your project may require specific skills and industry knowledge. For instance you could be translating medical documents, aerospace manuals or marketing brochures for a clothing range. All require translators with different backgrounds.
iii) Be realistic with timescales. Communicate target deliver dates from the outset but try to be flexible if a freelancer thinks your expectations are ambitious.
iv) Ask for examples of work so that you can make a judgement of the type and size of projects that have been previously completed
v) Keep in touch and request updates on progress when your project has started.
vi) Act professionally and get clear project closure & of course enjoy the process!
This is a guest post by Robert Morgan: “I’ve travelled the world with work and for pleasure. I’m a professional consultant, entrepreneur and business owner working with SMEs delivering innovative, cost saving initiatives.
My international work brought about my fascination with the need for fast, trustworthy, professional language services. This inspired the creation of bubloos.com, an easy-to-use human translation platform that connects buyers and sellers directly and quickly.”