”Two Finns don’t need an interpreter.”

(Finnish saying)


According to Kluge’s Etymological Dictionary, 23rd edition, 1999, the word “talami”, meaning “translator, interpreter”, occurs in the Mitanni language as early as the 15th century B.C.E. By way of Ottoman Turk “tilmac”, “intermediary” (between two parties) and Hungarian “tolmács”, comes the German word “Dolmetscher” (interpreter). Interpreting refers to oral translation of content into a different language. The profession of the intermediary between different languages and their respective spheres of life is increasing in importance daily in our globalized world.

Liaison interpreting

Perhaps you are planning a meeting, conference, business negotiation, technical discussion, factory tour, presentation, sales talk at a trade fair, telephone conference or video conference with people who speak a different language or who at any rate do not have sufficient command of one another’s language to achieve the necessary precision considering the importance of the communication.

As our client, you can conduct the discussion in the language familiar to you, concentrating on your concerns and interests, while our interpreter finds the right words in the target language and provides a common language, in the literal as well as figurative sense of the term. We will even provide bilateral interpretation, in which the interpreter also translates the answers and statements in the foreign language back into your own language, thus becoming a true language mediator.

Consecutive interpreting

In the more personal, intimate groups, at least as far as the number of participants is concerned, typical of liaison interpreting, the interpreter usually translates consecutively. In consecutive interpreting, which is also the traditional style, the interpreter listens, makes brief notes if necessary, and then repeats what has been said as quickly, briefly and orderly as possible in the target language.

Consecutive interpreting makes the process transparent and also very personal, since the interpreter can be experienced as part of the group. When the interpreter has found a fitting rhythm, the brief delay enables the participants to think over and evaluate what has been said, thereby enhancing their consideration of the respective topic. For this reason, consecutive interpreting is popular on festive occasions, such as receptions or after-dinner speeches, and at cultural events, such as readings or premieres.

Simultaneous interpreting

When interpreting is required for a large number of persons and/or in various languages, such as during a conference, simultaneous interpreting is generally preferred. In simultaneous interpreting, a statement in the source language is translated into one or more target languages at practically the same time as it is spoken. The interpreter(s) work(s) in soundproof booths and the translations are transmitted to the participants’ headphones via radio or infrared waves.


Mahrt Fachübersetzungen will be happy to advise you concerning the best type and technique of interpreting, and will provide you with qualified interpreters who not only have a good command of the desired language, but are also familiar with the respective cultural circumstances, whether you need Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, Polish or Russian, British or American English, French or Dutch or another language.

The second important criterion is technical skill. The interpreters we select are professionals in the required subjects and fields and are familiar with the technical vocabulary, whether in technology or mechanical engineering, IT or wind energy, software or architecture, motor vehicles or human resources policy, medicine or pharmaceuticals, business and finance, marketing or controlling, law or patents, pharmacology or biology.

The third important aspect in choosing an interpreter is the human side. Some of the situations that come up in interpreting are very personal and private. Often they involve important decisions where a great deal is at stake. That is why the “chemistry” between you and your interpreter is so important. You must be able to trust the interpreter and rely on his or her discretion. Furthermore, the interpreter must also have a good command of nonverbal communication, especially in the target language, which may be part of a culture in which you do not feel at home. If you wish, our interpreter will advise you beforehand on matters concerning communication and negotiation in the respective culture. In any case, even if the differences between the cultures seem to be negligible, a good interpreter must be able to empathize with all involved, with both parties and their perspectives. After all, people are different, and so are their interests.

Seen in this way, even two Finns may occasionally need a language mediator.

But that is the job of another profession.


Translating means understanding.


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