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Chapter 3
How to Prepare for an Industry Discussion Call

Interpreters from the Cadence community possess a few inherent traits that make them exceptional at what they do:

  • They are highly skilled at rendering one (or many) language(s) into one (or many) other language(s);

  • They are fixated on client success;

  • They are inherently curious and love learning about new things.

This curiosity is an essential trait for effective industry discussion interpretation and one of the main reasons Cadence linguists don’t just excel at but also enjoy working with us. As an interpreter, frequently be invited to interpret for a job whose industry niche doesn’t quite line up with what you’ve done before, or you might even be invited to interpret a call on an industry that’s wholly unfamiliar to you. It’s an incredible opportunity to aggressively expand your CV and scope of work. However, like any assignment, it requires a high degree of pre-call preparation.

As a professional interpreter, you’re probably all too familiar with clients providing minimal prep materials before an assignment. Unfortunately, we struggle with similar difficulties. Our clients are extremely wary of compliance-related issues, which makes them hesitant to provide much written information to vendors about their upcoming call.

business documents on office table with smart phone and digital tablet and graph financial diagram and man working in the background-2

When receiving a new job request from one of our expert network clients, for example, the job details will frequently resemble the following:

Topic: Japanese printers

Spec #5.1: Atsushi [redacted]

Current Acting Manager of Planning and Sales Department at [company A].

The expert is the Acting Manager of Planning and Sales Department in [company A]. He is primarily in charge of Client Relationships and Sales Plan Design. He has 16 years experience of marketing in the printer industry in Japan and is familiar with the competitive landscape of the industry. This expert is able to discuss the marketing strategy of [company B] and provide insight on future trends of the Japanese printer industry.

You’ll notice two major components of this job preview: the call topic and expert biography.

So how do you extract information from these particularly sparse pre-call prep materials? Our interpretation community offers the following advice:

Research the major industry players (in both languages)

Use the call topic section for cues on which industry to investigate , then do an exhaustive search of all the major players in the field in the target geography in both languages. Make sure to check the companies’ websites as well; they’ll contain valuable information about individual products .

John Ellis
English-Portuguese Interpreter
Notable news and events

Depending on your language pair, there’s a fair chance that recent news or government policy shifts will come up during the conversation. Make sure you do a quick review of relevant industry news (again, in both languages) to make sure you’re not caught off guard when asked about the “Pan-Pacific Trade Agreement.”

Jieyu Chen
Chinese-English Interpreter
Familiarize yourself with macroeconomic trends

Our linguists tell us that experts are often asked about how they view the “economic outlook of X country as a whole.” Be sure you review your Econ 101 vocabulary in advance so you’re not caught off guard. The Economist’s Finance & Economics section is an excellent place to start and should be required weekly reading for every interpreter looking to become an expert at interpreting industry discussion calls.

Nelly Thomas
German-English Interpreter
Brush up on your accounting and finance terminology

If you don’t know what terms like EBITDA and CAGR mean, you might find an industry discussion call challenging. Having a solid grasp of basic financial accounting terms (and how they influence an investor’s opinion of an investment target) will make your life substantially easier!

Pamela Pan
Chinese-English Interpreter
Leverage LinkedIn

Experts almost always have a LinkedIn profile with their full work history publicly available, which makes it a great starting point that can uncover valuable information with a simple search (in both languages). As an expert’s self introduction can take up as much as 10 minutes of a call, familiarizing yourself with the expert’s companies, and role at said companies, in both languages will help substantially.

Cris Silva
English-Portuguese Interpreter

And finally...build up your call interpretation portfolio!

Ultimately, what will benefit the quality of your call interpretation the most is practice. The more calls you interpret, the more familiar you’ll become with the nature of the questions and the structure of the call. Shameless plug: becoming a Cadence-certified linguist gives you not just the easiest route to regular exposure to these assignments, but access to a plethora of resources to help you prepare more quickly and efficiently.

In our next chapter, we dive into the best practices presented by our interpretation community on how to most effectively interpret an industry discussion call.

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