How to work with a professional interpreter
Specialize: You and your teammates should concentrate on doing what you do best, and let the interpreter do what she does best.
Simultaneous: Give yourself a few minutes to get used to simultaneous interpreting. You’ll be glad you did: You’ll get through the meeting in half the time, and the interpretation will be more accurate.
Background: Send the interpreter information about the case or issue in advance, for context and specialized vocabulary.
Familiarize: If possible, it is helpful for the interpreter and Spanish-speaking client/witness to chat in advance. That gives the interpreter and the client a chance to get used to each other’s speech.
Schedule breaks. Professional interpreting is intense mental work, and the interpreter is the only person in the meeting speaking all the time.
Work in person. Facial expressions and body language are an important part of any meeting. Interpreting over the phone may seem like a good idea, but it rarely goes well: Audio quality tends to be too poor to clearly hear every word, technical glitches are common, nonverbal communication is lost, and the interpretation must be consecutive rather than simultaneous (doubling the amount of time the meeting takes).
Hours: I’m generally available between 8 AM and 1 PM, including weekends. Two-hour minimum.
Planning: If possible, please schedule appointments at least 48 hours in advance. To keep the quality and accuracy of the interpretation high, please plan on a 10-minute break each hour and a 30-minute lunch break.
My geographic range is Burlingame to Palo Alto, California. I sometimes go farther afield, but then a 3-hour minimum applies.
In person: To ensure the best possible communication, I interpret in person. If phone is the only way a meeting can be done, please plan to do a dry run in advance.
Book online: Check my availability instantly and schedule me directly on this site.
Cancellations made 2 - 24 hours in advance are charged at 50% of the booked time. Cancellations made less than 2 hours in advance are charged at 100% for the 2-hour minimum.
Laura's geographic range
I work in San Mateo County (Burlingame, San Mateo, Belmont, Foster City, Redwood Shores, San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park) and northern Santa Clara County (Palo Alto), California. I accept assignments elsewhere only in special circumstances.