Professional interpreter for arbitration disputes

How to choose a professional interpreter for an arbitration

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a commonly utilised method for resolving disputes outside of the courtroom. It generally involves contractual disagreements between large corporations (often from two different countries), with sizable sums of money at stake.

Since arbitration often involves witnesses from different linguistic backgrounds, effective communication becomes crucial – this is where professional interpreters play a pivotal role.

Why are professional interpreters important in the arbitration process?

Professional interpreters bridge the language gap, facilitating effective dialogue and enabling a resolution between multiple language-speaking parties. With high stakes involved in arbitration and no room for error, choosing a skilled and experienced interpreter is crucial.

Here, we’ll discuss how to choose a professional interpreter for an arbitration – the skills and qualities that an interpreter should have and which you should look for. But first, it’s essential to choose the right kind of interpretation service that you need – simultaneous interpretation or consecutive interpretation.

What is the difference between simultaneous and consecutive interpretations?

1. Simultaneous interpretation: this is a type of interpretation that happens in real-time, with the interpreter providing a translation at the same time that the speaker is talking. It is often not verbatim but aptly conveys the speaker’s message. It is commonly used at conferences or events that have an audience.
2. Consecutive interpretation: the most commonly used type of interpretation in arbitration cases since it allows for a word-for-word translation. The speaker talks whilst the interpreter takes brief notes, and after a few sentences, the interpreter provides the translation.

Attending person vs online interpretation

Something else to consider is whether you’ll need face-to-face interpretation (attending person) or online interpretation. The former is the most common in arbitration since witnesses and interpreters (usually one) are typically expected to attend cases in person.

Not all interpreters have the skills and experience working in both of these settings – it is important to reflect on what your needs are and to select an interpreter who is able to show a history of providing excellent service in the type of setting that you will need.

How to choose a professional interpreter

Ensuring clear and accurate communication, maintaining fairness, and contributing to the overall success of an arbitration case are some of the benefits of working with a skilled and experienced interpreter.

In contrast, the costs of not choosing the right professional can be detrimental to the entire process since mistakes made during the case can prove to be very costly.

However, the selection process involves more than merely finding an interpreter with fluency and knowledge of the relevant languages. You should also select a professional with ample training and qualifications, experience in interpreting arbitration cases and a deep understanding of nuances.

Qualities of skilled and experienced interpreters

Aside from selecting a qualified interpreter with background experience in arbitration, here’s a list of other qualities that you should look for in a professional interpreter:

Clear and effective communication

Skilled interpreters not only convey words but also capture the tone, emotions, and intentions behind the spoken language. This ensures that all parties have a comprehensive understanding throughout the entire arbitration process, leading to more effective and informed discussions.

Legal expertise

Interpreters with a background in arbitration possess a deep understanding of legal terminology and procedures. This knowledge enables them to accurately translate complex legal concepts and ensure that all parties fully comprehend the legal arguments and implications of the case.

Cultural sensitivity

Arbitration often involves parties from diverse cultural backgrounds. Professional interpreters are not only linguistically proficient but also culturally sensitive. They understand the nuances of language and customs, helping to bridge cultural gaps and avoid unintentional offences or misunderstandings.


Professional interpreters adhere to strict codes of ethics that include principles of impartiality and confidentiality. They do not favour one party over another, ensuring a level playing field for all participants in the arbitration process.

Accuracy and Precision

Experienced interpreters are adept at facilitating smooth and efficient communication, reducing the likelihood of lengthy delays or procedural complications in the arbitration process. This accuracy and precision can save time and resources for all parties involved.

In conclusion, selecting the right interpreter with the skills and experience in arbitration is a critical step in ensuring a smooth and fair process. The right professional will provide linguistic expertise, cultural sensitivity, and legal knowledge to the table, making them invaluable in the arbitration process.

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