It is always extremely helpful and convenient to have someone who is bilingual in the workplace, no matter which industry you are in. Today, we live in a world where the majority of our population does not just speak English. Fortunately, bilingualism brings many benefits for most standard everyday situations and conversations. 

 

However, just because you have a bilingual person on staff does not mean all language needs are covered. Unfortunately, many organizations feel otherwise. It’s important to know that your language needs aren’t covered for quite a few reasons, and today we are here to tell you why you are not a qualified language interpreter if you are bilingual. 

 

3 Reasons Why Being Bilingual Does Not Make You an Interpreter

 

  1. There are more than 300 languages spoken all around the United States. If someone on your staff is bilingual in only spanish, english and german, what happens if someone who speaks french walks in? Qualified interpreters are able to cover the full spectrum, where as a bilingual employee typically only knows a few languages. 
  2. Legally, many industries require a qualified interpreter to communicate with patients or customers. So, if these businesses do not have qualified interpreters on staff or ready via video chat, they could be playing with fire at a legal standpoint. 
  3. Professional interpreters are far more training and experience than bilingual people. They are specifically trained to do what they do, and they have accomplished a level of fluency far beyond what the average bilingual individual would ever need.

 

3 Differences Between Being Bilingual and Being an Interpreter

 

  1. As we said before, professional interpreters not only know more languages than someone who is bilingual, but they also understand the language perfectly and know the culture behind it. They know everything about the specific language and culture including silences surrounding words, voice inflection, and other non-verbal cues that someone who is bilingual wouldn’t know. 
  2. Professional interpreters are trained to interpret, completely. When interpreting you are not only communicating what someone is saying but also with all the meaning and emotion behind the original statement. They are trained to have exceptional listening skills, concentration, note-taking, multitasking and empathy for all parties involved. 
  3. Professional interpreters are also trained to handle complex vocabulary for a specific industry. For example, the medical, legal, and financial industries all have a unique set of industry terms. Someone who is bilingual wouldn’t need to know extensive vocabulary like that. 

 

It’s important to know that being bilingual and being a qualified interpreter are far from being the same thing. If you trust a bilingual employee to interpret to your patients or customers, you aren’t giving them the best customer care they deserve. If you need professional interpreting services for your business, Boostlingo can help. For more information visit: https://www.boostlingo.com/

 

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