Tips for Working with an Interpreter

Interpretive services through LSA's INTERPRETALK® are available at no cost to First Choice members and participating providers.

When speaking with an interpreter, you should:

  • Speak at a reasonable pace (not too fast) and pronounce words clearly.
  • Speak in short phrases and pause frequently so the interpreter can translate the information quickly and accurately. If you go on for too long, you will have to wait a long time for the interpretation, and the interpreter may forget details and have to ask you to repeat.
  • Address the Limited English Proficient (LEP) person directly (e.g., "What is your name?" not "Ask him what his name is").
  • Speak “plain English” and avoid jargon or "shop talk."
  • Rephrase a term in other words if the interpreter asks you to define an unfamiliar term. The interpreter may have to ask the LEP person to clarify terms as well, but will let you know before addressing the person in the other language.
  • Expect your interpreter to let you know if he or she has problems hearing you or the other party.
  • Remember that interpreted communication normally takes twice as long as communication in the same language. Please be patient.

It is First Choice's goal to make communication between you and your limited English-speaking clients or customers as smooth as possible. If you have any questions or if any issues arise, contact Ashley Barton, Quality Performance Specialist, at 1-843-529-5298.