The need for interpreters in the tourism industry is undeniable. We see them working in hotels to entertain guests, in tourist destinations to explain the significance of the place, in tour companies to serve as guide to foreign guests, and even in restaurants to cater to non-English speakers.
Though it seems like their job is really simple, the truth is that it also has a huge impact to the economy. Several studies have proven that these interpreters have a major contribution to the tourism industry of every country. Below are some of the major roles they play in sustainable tourism development:
• Interpreters provide guests with a sense of belongingness. They understand what is happening in their environment. This makes the guests more interested to stay longer and even come back the next time around. These guests can also recommend the place to their friends back in their home country after receiving such kind of treatment.
• Interpreters in tourist attractions also help visitors understand more the place that they visit. They will understand the culture better and will have a deep sense of respect to the place. When they go back home to tell their friends about the experience, it won’t be difficult for them to entice the others to visit the place as well.
• Guests will be encouraged to spend more in terms of accommodation, refreshment and entertainment if they understand the culture more. As a result, this will be a big boost to the local economy. Say for instance there are guests who want to try certain local cuisines. If they don’t understand what the dish is, they won’t be encouraged to buy it. However, if they feel like it is an interesting dish to try after it was translated to them, they will buy it.
• If more visitors will visit a specific place for its tourist attraction, the local government will have more funds to develop other places in the area. As a result, there will be more tourists to come since they already have a lot of places to see.
• Interpreters also clarify misconceptions about the place that guests visit. They will let them understand through stories or by presenting facts and evidence. Guests will have a deeper understanding of the place and will erase their biased notions in the past.
Tips in Interpreting for Guests
Though it seems like interpreting for foreigners visiting a particular place is easy, in reality it is not. If you are in this field or you are willing to be a part of it, here are some tips that you have to remember:
• When learning a foreign language, don’t just learn the words, but also understand the culture of the people. It is important so you won’t simply interpret words for them, but also appear polite and accommodating.
• Don’t mislead the guests. If you are not certain about the translation of certain words, be honest about it. It is better than giving them false information.
• Always be in a happy mood. Sometimes, guests tend to ask a lot of questions. They might even ask several questions at the same time. It can be confusing at times. If this happens, just remain calm and composed. Put on a smile on your face all the time and be willing to entertain guests.
The role of interpreters in the sustainable development of the tourism industry is truly admirable.