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5 Tips for Your Language Interpretation Session

Sign Language - Rare Languages - Video Interpretation - Food for thought

If it’s your first time booking a language interpretation session, or you’re planning on booking one, you might not be completely clear on how it will work. We’ve created this simple guide for you to know what to expect so you can have the best experience possible in your upcoming session with an Ad Astra expert.  

5 tips to have the best language interpretation session possible:

1. Listen to your interpreter’s instructions before starting.

All our interpreters have a pre-session with you, and the person they will be interpreting for. This pre-session doesn’t take longer than 20 seconds, but it’s very useful for everyone to know how to work with an interpreter and know what to expect in an interpreted encounter. 

Please let the interpreter recite it without interrupting and ask questions if necessary. Here’s an example of what it will likely be like:  

Hello, my name is Camila. I’ll be your Spanish interpreter today. Everything said will be interpreted. Please, speak directly to each  other in short sentences. If you see me raise my hand, please stop because I might need to interrupt. An Ad Astra client waits to start their language interpretation session. 

2. Allow the interpreter to control the flow of the conversation.  

To ensure accuracy and completeness in the session, the interpreter might need to stop a speaker after a certain amount of sentences. They might also request clarification or repetition of any information that is unclear. For that, they will have to stop the flow of the conversation.  

Interpreters cannot interpret what is not clear or understandable, so don’t get frustrated if the conversation is briefly paused. Accuracy is the first and foremost principle of the code of ethics of our interpreters. 

An Ad Astra interpreter expert gives a thumbs up.

3. Speak directly to the person you want to communicate with, not the interpreter.

Interpreters are there to be your language bridge. If you speak directly to the other person and don’t include the interpreter in your conversation, you make the interpreter’s job easier. It also helps avoid having the interpreter remind you that you have to speak directly to the other person, as said in the pre-session at the beginning of the meeting.  

Please avoid comments like, “Interpreter, tell Mr. XX that…” or “Can you ask her/mom if…”, rather, ask that question directly to them as if you were having a conversation with another person in your own language.

4. Be mindful of how fast you’re speaking.

Ideally, you will speak at a clear medium pace (not very slow, not very fast). This helps interpreters understand and process the message in order to communicate it exactly with the help of notes and memory.  

If possible, use simple language. If you have to say something complex, make sure to explain the vocabulary of the field or any unusual acronyms. Remember that the interpreter might stop you to ask for clarification if anything is unclear. 

Prepare for your language interpretation session with Ad Astra experts.

5. Make sure you’re in a quiet, calm environment. 

If possible, attend your session in private and make sure you’re in a quiet space with no distractions. Avoid being in any space where outsiders could interrupt your session, and do not involve people who were not previously accounted for by your interpreter. 

  If you are getting a video or over the phone interpreter, make sure that your connection is good, that background noise is reduced and that the interpreter can hear and see everyone. If the interpreter can’t properly hear you, the session will not be as successful as it could be.  

The Ad Astra team is ready to support your needs.


Now that you’re well-informed about proper interpretation session etiquette, contact an Ad Astra expert and book your session today. If you have any lingering questions, don’t hesitate to ask them before your session! Our team is here to help.