Always begin the interpreting discussion by introducing yourself. It is best if the interpreting user begins the discussion by informing the client about your role in the discussion, in other words what interpreting ethics cover. You then interpret this for the client. The aim is for the client to feel safe and be certain of being apprised of everything that is said. If the interpreting user does not inform the client him or herself, you must present this information. Say, for example "Excuse me, may I just begin by introducing myself?". You should then present this in both languages.
Before an interpreting assignment, you should familiarise yourself with relevant terminology and facts. Always have a dictionary, pen and paper on hand. Also be prepared for special conditions, such as if it concerns interpreting for children or in psychiatric services. Also remember to fill in as much as possible on the order form before you come to the assignment to keep booked time from being spent filling in the order form. Also remember to find the travel time and route before leaving for an on-site assignment. Ensure to have plenty of time before the assignment begins.
If the client turns out to be a friend or relative of yours, you must inform the interpreting user of this. It is not permitted to interpret with a conflict of interest without the interpreting user's consent.
Avoid sitting and talking with the interpreting user or client before or after the interpreting assignment - your neutrality as an interpreter can then be called into question.
Think about where you place yourself in the room. You, the interpreting user and the client should form a spatial triangle where the interpreting user and the client sit across from each other and have eye contact. This way, you can also emphasize your role as a neutral spokesperson.
The interpreting user has the right to use your services for the full time ordered, even for more clients. You may not leave the assignment earlier without the orderer's consent.
Be careful to always come on time. If you nonetheless are delayed on occasion, inform Semantix immediately so that we can notify the interpreting user and avoid unnecessary irritation. If you are delayed, phone 0770-457 410, extension 1 (speak with an interpreting coordinator).
Take breaks if the discussion lasts a long time so that you do not get too tired and lose your concentration. You should take a break at least once an hour. You have the right to five minutes' break per hour.
Take notes and be particularly careful with names, figures and addresses. You may need to use your dictionary or consult with somebody else. You are the language expert, but it is the customer who is the expert on the topic.
If you notice that the parties do not understand each other, it is not your duty to comment on this in the discussion - they must discover this themselves. However, you should of course say if you do not understand what somebody is saying. Then, step out of the role and say: "The interpreter does not understand."
After concluding an interpreting assignment, you can either turn over your notes to the customer, or destroy them. For reasons of secrecy, you may not save any notes. You must always observe strict professional secrecy. Everything said during the interpreting discussion is covered by secrecy.
The laws and rules below have a bearing on your work as an interpreter: