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Interpreters: The Do's and Don'ts, Misconceptions, Stereotypes, etc.

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I feel we lack a thread like that. I will be explaining some points that so many guys fail to realize, even those with a lot of experience. Feel free to ask questions and post your experience but please stay on topic.

So, today’s lesson is:

A. When Talking to Someone Using Interpreter Look at This Person!

It is simple. Just think: who are you talking to actually? The interpreter is NOT part of the conversation. He or she is someone to help but not take part in it. You are talking to someone else, not the interpreter. So, if you normally look at the person you are talking to, just do the same. Fortunately, words can reach your ears even if the speaker is not looking at you. And you do not have to look at someone in order for them to hear you (as long as the conversation is running).

Advantages of this approach:

- you take the interpreter out of your conversation without making them go away. The stay but they only do their job and are not part of your communication.
- it is a good way to break the ice and become closer to the woman as she starts to take you as someone who is talking to her directly, not someone who is there and she is told what you say by someone else.
- you get a chance to feel the other person, estimate/evaluate them and tune to their wave (as you are not distracted).


- you may get carried away and forget about the 3rd person and do or say things that you would normally only do privately ;)

B. Don’t Use "Tell her" or "Ask her"!

This is a consequence of part A. If you use silly phrases like this you always bring up the idea that there are 3 of you, and the 3rd person is not someone really close like mother or child, which makes one a bit awkward. By using this you stress that you are not talking directly. Even if the lady does not get it, you yourself would feel aloof from her because you will constantly be reminding yourself it is not eye-to-eye.

So, in a nutshell a professional interpreter is translating at the background. You do not have to look at him and even wait. You just talk and listen to the words. Don’t worry if they sound from aside and not directly from the lady. It does not matter. All that matters is you and her. Interpreters, birds, honking or someone shouting nearby is nothing but background. Don’t let it into your communication too much.


--- Quote from: Stirlitz on November 18, 2010, 04:11:56 PM ---B. Don’t Use "Tell her" or "Ask her"!

--- End quote ---

This is something I am guilty of. I meet various Russians in Estonia and either my pal Aleksei or my wife translates the complex stuff (depending which one happens to be there). But I do tend to look at the Russian speaker and say "Tell him this..........." which kind of excludes the person you are talking to from the conversation a little, and is probably quite rude.

Its a habit that can be hard to break. I was brought up to "look at the person talking to you"; when using an interpreter, you need to look at the subject of the conversation and not always the one talking.

Has anyone actually met a lady with whom the initial meetings were conducted via an Interpretor and the relationship eventually proceeded to marriage?

I have and I will be married next year to my fiancee from Kharkiv. The translator is giving English lessons in addition to some heavy studying on the lady's part on her own. The progress is quite remarkable and all of this began with a translator that you are not so much in favor of in Kharkiv.  I will leave Dallas on November 22 for Kharkiv.

And I have a friend from Texas who also met his fiancee the same way in Kharkiv and used the same translator. She is now with him in El Paso and they will be married on Saturday, November 20. I was invited to thier wedding but cannot attend since I am preparing to leave on Monday.


--- Quote from: Vinnvinny on November 18, 2010, 04:30:56 PM ---Has anyone actually met a lady with whom the initial meetings were conducted via an Interpretor and the relationship eventually proceeded to marriage?

--- End quote ---

I was one. As it's coming up on nine years, I think it may last...



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