China, Markets and Companies

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 07.06.2023, 09:35

Interpreters in China – the choice problem

Evgeny Kolesov, general director of Optim Consult Company, Guangzhou, China, 29.08.2008.Print version
China… Working with China… Professional business-service in China… Consulting in China… Exhibitions in China… Manufacturers… Suppliers… Quality inspections… Interpreters… It is the question of great importance for those who have an intention to start their business in China. The work efficiency of any company is defined by its results and capital.

Under the circumstances of some economical difficulties Russian businessmen and companies have to develop their possibilities on the world market.  Russian companies have already adapted and got used to the European market.  Let us have a look at China with its great potential and possibilities to make business – consequently…to make money. 


This article is devoted to translators and interpreters practicing their specialization on the territory of China.  Large number of exhibitions and fairs all over the country make businessmen waste time for searching enterprises who can offer their translation service during the exhibitions period on the territory of China.  Everyone wants to have the best and to pay the minimum.  The one needs a professional interpreter with a good practical experience in textile industry.  The other needs a professional with machinery specialization.  The third one prefers to have the interpreter who has got at least two-year experience working with building materials.  Nowadays, when business relations between Russia and China are developing, the problem of the right translation is very urgent.  If you are going to China, I ask you, first, to read this article up to the end. You’ll be a success in choosing an interpreter in China.Take some examples. 


“Good afternoon! Have you got interpreters? I have to visit an exhibition only for 2 days.  I need an interpreter to discuss and sign the contract.  8 or 10 hours – I do not know for sure. Our price is 50 USD.  But I need a professional interpreter with a good professional experience. I know the approximate prices for translation service. But the last time I was not a success working with an interpreter.” These are the words that you can hear from many businessmen coming to China. Of course, if you do not master the Chinese language, you should definitely take an interpreter service.


Sometimes, businessmen neglect the service of professional specialists – professional interpreters. Why does it happen? Maybe they try to save money. Some people consider it would be better and cheaper to have a native-language interpreter. But does a professional interpreter agree to work with 50$ per day? What can you say?


Let us think over the situation. Besides excellent language skills a real interpreter must be initiative and emotionally strong and hard-working. A real interpreter must be able to communicate with people, should have a great desire to work, a strong capacity to learn and analyze any situation.


The most difficult kind of translation is considered to be simultaneous translation that requires high concentration, a strong capacity to listen,  ability to analyze and sort out the necessary information. A simultaneous translation interpreter can work effectively approximately for 3-4 hours. As a rule, during negotiations some of the interpreters usually work together.


Working with the most prestigious companies the translation made professionally plays an important role in this process.

Professional interpreters specialized in Chinese are able to solve the most irreversible problems and questions, to persuade a manufacturer to reduce the prices. Sometimes it becomes practically impossible to take negotiations with factories. Eventually, they refuse to minimize the prices, discuss the compensation cases, questions of giving more profitable terms of payment. In such a situation an interpreter becomes the only one who takes responsibility for regulating the problems.


Sometimes it happens, businessmen rely on a professional interpreter. As a result, the customers do not get any clear information. Probably an interpreter does not understand the subject itself. It concerns the problem of a specialized technical translation with the usage of terms. It becomes more difficult to inspect the goods quality or the loading process if an interpreter can not explain instructions distinctly.


Many Chinese manufacturers having been working with foreign customers for a long time appreciate the professional work of an interpreter and his inflexibility and ability to achieve the goal and successful results. So, an interpreter is a necessary linking part between both Parties. He is the one who can make the negotiating atmosphere positive, clear and friendly.


It is very difficult to make the team of highly-professional interpreters. The team of interpreters should have an excellent language preparation and knowledge, professional skills, practical experience and the team spirit. Because of the specific such specialists should definitely have strong ambitions, serious intensions, great aspiration to work, reasonable decisions and “being together” spirit.


Many clients sometimes even can not assume the fact that the reason of misunderstanding and a bad luck in doing business in China is meant to be an inappropriate translation service. That is the exact reason.


But even a professional interpreter needs help and support of such specialists as economists, engineers, financial experts, lawyers. It is very important to foresee the way of behavior chosen by both parties during the negotiation process.


The successful result of negotiations completely depends on the level of knowledge, preparation and practical experience. But unfortunately, it is practically impossible to examine. What is more important is your own choice – the choice of the company you can trust, rely on, work with, share your success with. When choosing a company and an interpreter you’d better point out the subject of further taken negotiations, a certain kind of translation service. Many people suppose the largest and most important problem working with China is searching and choosing the right manufacturer, the process of signing contracts, etc. Surely it is!


But the most important thing is to establish firm and close relations with partners, suppliers or manufacturers and make these relations become your main competitive advantage in doing business in this country.


Optim Consult Company has the group of professional specialists and interpreters, some of them are the members of the International Association of Interpreters and the Union of Russian interpreters.


Optim Consult Company presents the group of professionals possessing a high level of theoretical acknowledgement, a great practical experience, definite technology schemes and methods.

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