Donnerstag, 21. Juli 2016

Tips on starting your business

With the next class of newly state-certified translators and interpreters ready to go out into the "real world" next week, I thought a little help on the way into setting up one's business might be appreciated. I found these tips on how to get started over on business know-how and thought I'd share them here, even if they are not specifically for translators/interpreters:

32 Low-Cost Ways to Promote Your Business 

Starting a business on a shoestring? Looking for ways to stretch your small business marketing budget? Here are 32 low-cost, high-impact methods to advertise and promote your business.

What's the best way to promote your business? How can you advertise your business and get your name in front of potential prospects when money is tight or you're just starting up? How can you get the word out about your business in the most affordable way?
Promoting a business is an ongoing challenge for small businesses. Whether you're just starting out or have been in business for years, these proven marketing strategies will help your business find new customers without spending a fortune.

  1. Plan your attack. Define who your best prospects are, and then determine the best way to reach them. Be as specific as possible. Is the decision maker the CTO of the company, the director of human resources, or a 37-year-old working mom? Will you find them on Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest or Facebook? What about in-person networking at local business meetings? Will they be searching for your type of product on Google or Bing? Do you want to start promoting your business to them at the start of their buying cycle, or when they're about ready to pull out their credit card and make the purchase.  Write your answers down, and refer to them before you start any new marketing tactic. Use this marketing plan worksheet to gather your information.
  2. If you don't have a website, get one set up. If you can't afford to have someone custom-design your website, put your site up using one of the companies like SiteSell.com or HomeStead.com that provide templates and tools that make it easy to create a basic website.
  3. Set up a listing for your business in search engine local directories. Google and Bing both offer a free listing for local businesses.To get listed on Google, go to Google My Business.  To get listed on Bing, go to Bing Places for Business. Yahoo charges for local listings, but you get listed on a lot more than Yahoo if you buy their service. The service, called Yahoo Localworks, costs $29.99 a month and lists you in 50 directories including Yahoo Local, Yelp, WhitePages, Bing, Mapquest and more. The benefit of paying: You have a single location to enter your data to make it consistent and available on multiple online directories that your customers might search to find what you sell.
  4. Set your business profile or page up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter. Be sure your business profile includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website. Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don't spam them with constant promos for what you sell.
  5. If you're just starting out and don't have a business card and business stationery, have them made up -- immediately. Your business card, letterhead and envelope tell prospective customers you are a professional who takes your business seriously. Be sure to list your website address on your business card and, letterhead and any handouts you create.
  6. Sign up for an email service, and send an email newsletter and/or promotional offers to customers and prospects for your business. Be sure you ask for permission to send email before putting any person's email name on your list. One good way to build a permission-based email list of people who want your mailings is to give something away. It could be a free ebook, or even a free tip-sheet on how to do something related to your business.   If you're a health coach, for instance, you might offer people who sign up for your free newsletter a tip sheet with "10 Easy Ways To Lose Weight Without Going on a Diet."  An email service like Constant Contact* makes it easy to manage your list and send professional-looking mailings.
  7. Get your business cards into the hand of anyone who can help you in your search for new clients. Call your friends and relatives and tell them you have started a business. Visit them and leave a small stack of business cards to hand out to their friends.
  8. Talk to all the vendors from whom you buy products or services. Give them your business card, and ask if they can use your products or service, or if they know anyone who can. If they have bulletin boards where business cards are displayed (printers often do, and so do some supermarkets, hairdressers, etc.), ask if yours can be added to the board.
  9. Attend meetings of professional groups, and groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or civic associations. Have business cards in a pocket where they are easily reachable. Don't forget to ask what the people you speak with do, and to really listen to them. They'll be flattered by your interest, and better remember you because of it.
  10. Pay for membership in those groups that attract your target customers.If the group has a website and publishes a list members on the site, make sure your name and website link get added. Once it is added double check to be sure your contact information is correct and your website link isn't broken.
  11. Become actively involved in 2 or 3 of these groups. That will give you more opportunity to meet possible prospects. But remember: opportunists are quickly spotted for what they are, and get little business. While you won't want to become involved in many organizations that require a lot of your time in, you can --and should-- make real contributions to all of them by offering useful ideas and helping with projects when possible.
  12. Look for something unusual about what you do, and publicize it. Send out press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, cable TV stations, magazines whose audiences are likely to be interested in buying what you sell. Be sure to post the press releases on one or more online press release services, too, being sure to include links to your website. To increase your chance of having the material published, send along a photo (but not to radio stations) with your press release. Editors of printed publications are often in need of "art" (drawings or photos) to fill space and break up the gray look of a page of text.
  13. Write an article that demonstrates your expertise in your field. Send it to noncompeting newspapers, magazines, and websites in your field that accept submissions from experts. Be sure your name, business name, phone number, and a reference to your product or service is included at the end of the article. If the editor can use the article you get your name in print, and possibly get your contact information printed for free, too.
  14. Publicize your publicity. Whenever you do get publicity, get permission from the publisher to reprint the article containing the publicity. Make photocopies and mail the copies out with sales letters or any other literature you use to market your product or service. The publicity clips lend credibility to the claims you make for your products or services.
  15. Ask for work or leads. Contact nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges, and even other businesses that have customers who may need your services.
  16. Network with others who are doing the same type of work you are. Let them know you are available to handle their work overloads. (But don't try to steal their customers. Word will get out, and will ruin your business reputation.)
  17. Offer to be a speaker. Industry conferences, volunteer organizations, libraries, and local business groups often need speakers for meetings. You'll benefit from the name recognition, contacts and publicity you gain from being a speaker at these events.
  18. If your product or service is appropriate, give demonstrations of it to whatever groups or individuals might be interested. Or, teach others how to use some tool you use in your work.
  19. Put videos of your product or service on YouTube and other video-sharing and slide-sharing sites.
  20. Find out what federal, state, and local government programs are in existence to help you get started in business. Most offer free business counseling, and some can put you in touch with government agencies and large corporations that buy from small and woman-owned businesses
  21. If you are a woman-owned or minority-owned business look into getting certified by private, state or federal organizations. Many purchasing agents have quotas or guide for the amount of goods and services they need to buy from minority- and woman-owned businesses.
  22. Send out sales letters to everyone you think might be able to use what you sell. Be sure to describe your business in terms of how it can help the prospect. Learn to drop a business card in every letter you send out. Follow up periodically with postcard mailings.
  23. If you use a car or truck in your business have your business name and contact information professionally painted on the side of the vehicle. That way your means of transportation becomes a vehicle for advertising your business. If you don't want the business name painted on the vehicle, consider using magnetic signs.
  24. Get on the telephone and make "cold calls." These are calls to people who you would like to do business with. Briefly describe what you do and ask for an appointment to talk to them about ways you can help them meet a need or solve a problem.
  25. Get samples of your product or your work into as many hands as possible.
  26. Offer a free, no obligation consultation to people you think could use your services. During such consultations offer some practical suggestions or ideas--and before you leave ask for an "order" to implement the ideas.
  27. Learn to ask for referrals. Ask existing customers, prospects and casual acquaintances. When you get them, follow up on the leads.
  28. Use other people to sell your product or service. Instead of (or in addition to) selling your products yourself, look for affiliates, resellers or people who will generate leads for you in return for a commission on sales. Be sure your pricing structure allows for the fees or commissions you will have to pay on any sales that are made.
  29. Get together with businesses who serve the same market, but sell different products and services. Make arrangements to pass leads back and forth, or share mailings.
  30. Have sales letters, flyers and other pertinent information printed and ready to go. Ask prospects who seem reluctant to buy from you: "Would you like me to send information?" Follow up promptly with a note and a letter that says, "Here is the information you asked me to send
  31. Run a contest. Make the prize something desirable and related to your business -- it could be a free gift basket of your products, for instance, or free services.
  32. Test buying Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on the search engines. If you are not yet advertising on search engines search for offers that give you $50 or $75 in free advertising to start. Read the directions for the service you plan to use, and very carefully watch what you spend on a daily or more frequent basis until you are comfortable using PPC ads and see you are getting a return on your investment.
Find dozens of additional small business marketing ideas in our marketing channel.
© 2015 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved
*Business Know-How is a Solution Provider and Authorized Local Expert for Constant Contact

About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning  Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Janet on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JanetAttard

Dienstag, 12. Juli 2016

Aktuelle Übersetzungsproblematik

Heute steht in der SZ ein sehr interessanter Kommentar zum Thema Übersetzen - und dessen Schwierigkeit bei den aktuellen Vorkommnissen (hier musste ich auch schon lange überlegen, wie ich das schreibe, ohne dass es allzu banal klingt?!) in den USA.
Jeder Übersetzer hat sich sicher schon mit ähnlichen Problemen konfrontiert gesehen - schön, dass es mal "von außen" so gut auf den Punkt gebracht wird:

Ein "shooting" ist keine "Schießerei"

Aber wie soll man sonst über den Angriff in Dallas berichten? Warum Gewalttaten in USA sich so schwer übersetzen lassen.
Von Jörg Häntzschel
Angesichts der Gewalt in den USA versagt beim deutschen Beobachter nicht nur die Vorstellungskraft, sondern auch die Sprache. Mit "Schießerei" lässt sich ein shooting wie das von Dallas jedenfalls nicht übersetzen. Schießerei, das klingt nach Clint Eastwood, wiehernden Pferden und splitternden Whiskeyflaschen, nach Desperados, die nichts zu verlieren haben - einem shootout.
Doch die schlimmste Seite der amerikanischen Waffengewalt, das sind die shootings jenseits von Hollywood, ausgeführt von Leuten, die kühl vorgehen und oft auf Wehrlose zielen. Und während "Schießerei" eher eine Situation beschreibt, die außer Kontrolle gerät, ist das Skandalöse an den police shootings ja gerade, dass von einer Eskalation, die den Waffengebrauch rechtfertigen würde, oft keine Rede sein kann.
Auch für den shooter fehlt ein Wort. Der "Schütze" ist Mitglied im Trachtenverein. Er trägt eine Armbrust, keine halbautomatische Waffe. Selbst als "Scharfschütze" kommt er, verglichen mit dem sniper, folkloristisch daher. Er tötet übrigens immer im offiziellen Auftrag. Dass die Schießkünste eines Killers an die der staatlich ausgebildeten Scharfschützen heranreichen, ist im Deutschen nicht vorgesehen.
Nicht einmal für das transitive Verb to shoot gibt es ein Äquivalent. Im Englischen bleibt erst mal offen, was genau die Kugel angerichtet hat. Sie hat das Opfer getroffen, Blut fließt - das zählt. Im Deutschen hingegen muss man, um den Vorgang überhaupt beschreiben zu können, noch bevor der Pulverdampf verzogen ist, klären, ob das Opfer erschossen oder "nur" angeschossen wurde. Deshalb behelfen sich deutsche Synchronisierungen englischsprachiger Filmen gern mit Euphemismen wie "Ich hab' ihn erwischt", wenn es im Original "I shot him" heißt.
Besonders bizarr ist der "Amoklauf", mit dem man bis vor kurzem immer die school shootings übersetzte. Damit lassen sich die Tatmotive in eine so unzugängliche Zone der Täterpsyche verlegen, dass sich die Suche nach rationalen Erklärungen eigentlich erübrigt. In den USA spricht man in solchen Fällen auch von mass shootings und mass killings, doch "Massentötung" ist uns so unheimlich, dass wir sie allenfalls für die Opfer der Massentierhaltung verwenden. Und "Massenmord"? Darin waren wir Deutschen mal sehr gut. Wir wollen das Wort am liebsten gar nicht mehr verwenden.

Donnerstag, 7. Juli 2016

Should translators sign their work?

Taking up last week's post (in German) about making translators more visible and an interesting comment by Valerij Tomarenko, I decided to post the interview by h Chris Durban she did in 2011 - and which is still applicable today!

She makes some really good points, which made me rethink my opinion on signing even something as mundane as an operating manual. One of my favorites: "There’s no need for a costly certification procedure or endless negotiations by industry leaders at venues around the globe over a 5 or 10-year period."

Here it is:

Catherine: Why are you so adamant about translators getting credit? What’s the point of signed work?
Chris: The quick answer: to promote transparency, and let everyone reap the benefits it brings. Well, let me temper that: everyone who takes this business seriously.
I would prefer that the cynics, jokers, sellers of snake oil and just-making-a-buckers exit left ASAP, and I see signed work as one way to achieve that. Note that when I talk about signing your translations, I’m referring not just to books, but to corporate, technical and other types of translation as well.
One feature of our market is that many (most?) buyers simply cannot judge what they are getting when a translation is delivered to them. This distinguishes us from providers of other intellectual services. And it makes clients particularly vulnerable to glib or clueless vendors who weave a convincing quality narrative to clinch the sale, only to deliver shoddy or downright unacceptable translations.

Catherine: You sound like you’re speaking from experience.
Chris: I am. For years I wrote a column called The Onionskin that ran in various professional magazines (and ultimately led me to write the little Getting It Right booklet of advice for translation buyers, now translated into a dozen languages).
For my Onionskin articles, I researched good and bad translations in the public domain—celebrating the good ones (and yes, there is some very good work out there) but also moving up and down the supply chain to identify exactly how, when and where flawed work had skidded off track.
It was fascinating but also frustrating. And beyond a certain point, downright embarrassing for the translation industry as a whole.
Because when caught out, the vast majority of slipshod suppliers (both freelancers and agencies) ran for the hills, declining responsibility for the work they had produced and/or brokered and sold. A surprising number refused to admit their paternity/maternity or spent vast amounts of energy hiding their connection to their offspring. When pushed, others admitted their powerlessness to enforce quality standards—and with it, the hollowness of the claims on their websites and in their own brochures.

Catherine: So at one level this “sign your work” campaign is a truth-in-advertising issue.
Chris: That’s right. I am aware of no suppliers who claim in public that they are producing “so-so” or “moderately good” work, and certainly no one is crowing about selling garbage. But hey, the mediocre translations are out there for all to see. And one thing is sure: they are not all being produced by low-cost suppliers in the third world, students grubbing for pocket money, or wannabe bilinguals concocting silly texts in-house with a dictionary in one hand and a grammar book in the other.
It’s time for our industry to face up to it: many LSPs (again, both freelancers and agencies) are producing and selling work that makes the cut only because clients can’t judge how poor it is. I like to think the chickens will come home to roost at some point. But in the meantime, sloppy translations tarnish everyone’s image.

Catherine: What are some of the benefits of signed translations?
Chris: The beauty of signed work is that everybody sees who does what. Clients and peers alike. So genuinely skilled translators and quality-oriented intermediaries can get their names out and about at zero cost (did I mention that inserting your name in credits costs nothing?).
It’s also straightforward: there’s no need for a costly certification procedure or endless negotiations by industry leaders at venues around the globe over a 5 or 10-year period. Anyone who understands the point and wants to buy in can simply agree it’s a good idea and… do it. Starting tomorrow morning at 8.00 a.m. or tonight at midnight. Whenever. You take responsibility for the texts you produce and sell by asserting your maternity/paternity.
The good news is that taking responsibility means you get the credit too. And with that comes leverage that most translators and translation companies don’t have now (along with a superb client-education tool). More about that in a minute.
Finally, signed work promotes best practice among translators by encouraging us all, whatever our size and market segment, to think twice before over-committing ourselves.
So if you claim to sell high quality work and your name is going to be out there on the text you deliver, well, you will probably decide to give that 15,000-word job for delivery a day from tomorrow a miss—either that or negotiate a longer deadline. With signed work, good translators and agencies that might be tempted to cut corners are actively encouraged to not just talk the talk but also walk the best-practice walk.

Catherine: When do you request that your name be added to your translation? When you send in the quote or when you hand the translation in? Do you mention it in your Terms & Conditions?
Chris: It appears as point three in a one-page summary of Terms & Conditions that I send to first-time clients before a job starts. As FA&WB readers know, I’m not a big believer in glossy brochures, but a sheet like this is a useful way to give new clients a clear idea of what they are getting into and what their role is.

Catherine: How do you word your request?
Chris: It’s a statement, not a request. That’s important. (Just as when you make annual adjustments in your prices and announce this to your clients, it’s not a good idea to phrase it as a request.)
Most of my clients are native speakers of French so I communicate with them in that language, but an English version of point three would go something like this: “If texts are changed in any way or reset, we revise and sign proofs before the document goes to press, failing which we apply a 100% surcharge (since translators’ names appear in credits for most of our translations).” You can raise that to 200% or 500% if you like. The point is not to apply it, rather to draw your client’s attention to this particular condition.

Catherine: Yes, on page 49 of The Prosperous Translator (from Lulu.com), you refer to this penalty surcharge for unapproved changes. To me, this appears threatening and I don’t want to ruffle any feathers. How do clients usually react?

Chris: In most cases, first-time clients ring back immediately, concerned that a hefty price might head even higher. And this is the magic moment—the chance for me to explain, pleasantly, that I do not want to apply the surcharge: that is not the point.
The sentence is in there, I tell them, because I’ve found that money focuses the mind and experience has taught me that it really is very important for the client’s image and my own to run a final check.
I give them an example or two—if a well-meaning French client or printer adds an “s” to “Information” on the grounds that “there are several” (or removes an “s” from “headquarters,” for that matter, because “there is only one”) and my name appears as the translator, I’m the one who takes the hit; my reputation and brand suffer. I may also remind them that they don’t fiddle around with the content of their financial statements once the auditor has signed off. Above all, I point out that it is silly for them to have spent a lot of money on their translation and then trip at the last hurdle.
Concretely, I have them make note of this essential revision-of-proofs stage and include it in their production schedule.
If for some reason time runs out and there is no time for revision, I inform them, regretfully, that they will then have to take my name off — “It’s too risky for my reputation.” Interestingly, that sentence alone is often enough for them to find the time and extend the deadline. If not, they strike my name from the credits and pay me my normal fee (of course). Encouragingly, I have not yet had to apply the surcharge.
Occasionally a new client will say “Right! So this clause is a standard thing for professional translators, then?” To which I always reply, “Yes, for the serious ones.” Because in my opinion it should be a standard thing.

Catherine: Do you ask for a link back to your website or social media profile?
Chris: My own customers find me almost exclusively through word of mouth and my presence at client-industry events, so this doesn’t really apply. But for translators who rely heavily on a website, blog or other social media, yes, this would be a good idea.
Catherine: Any other comments about this public display of who translates what?
Chris: I’ve been going on about signed work for about thirty years, and run into the same reactions from translators all the time. Some get it immediately. Others start “yes, but-ing,” which I think is a pity. Let me recycle a few of the latter reactions here:
“My clients would never allow it.”
Response: have you asked them? I used to nod understandingly when translators pulled this one, but have now stopped. The fact is, translators tend to project their own worries and fears onto clients (this applies to jitters about prices, too). They may be the first to weigh in with opinions on discussion lists and blogs, often expressed very articulately. But when it comes to standing up in public with “this is what I produce and sell” they twist, turn and shuffle, using a million tactics to keep out of what they apparently see as the line of fire. Which says a lot about their self-confidence.
In contrast, quality-oriented clients understand exactly what the point is. Many have experience with formal QC and QA procedures, in which identifying who does what at each stage is a given. So they don’t have a problem with signed work. On the whole, it’s insecure translators and brokers unwilling to stand behind their work who do.
One of the very few exceptions I’ve experienced first-hand is in-house client departments that want to pretend they’ve done the translation themselves. And I have no problem with that. As I’ve written elsewhere, you certainly don’t have to sign every single text you translate. But if you don’t sign any at all, well, that says a lot.
“I’d love to, but everything I do is 100% confidential.”
Er, yup. And agreed if we are talking about, e.g., contracts and such. But let’s be serious: claiming that every single translation you’ve produced for the past ten years has been confidential is the sign of a terminally anxious translator, full stop. Get a grip. Be brave. Translator up! (In fact, your work is probably very good, but how will the praise and future clients reach you if you don’t dare tell anybody you did it?)
“Clients change things after I’ve finished; I have no control over what happens to a text when it leaves my computer.”
That can happen. But isn’t it about time you reclaimed control of at least a few projects a year? The penalty clause discussed above gives you that control.
If you don’t participate actively in client education, if you buckle under each time and accept conditions that you know are incompatible with quality, surely you are part of the problem. Here’s a free tool that will help you move everybody ahead!
It is even more interesting to me to hear large agencies use a variation on this “clients insert errors” argument to explain why they must remain anonymous. Hang on: does this mean a freelance translator can gain control of the process while you, with all your staff and processes and giant contracts can’t—even as you continue to write screeds about your company’s 100% commitment to excellence? Surely there is something wrong with this picture. At the very least, you might consider adding “platinum service” to your portfolio: in this case, you proudly sign a small percentage of the work you’ve produced because it is so very very good. And leave the— how to put this? pretty darn good but not signable?—gold, silver and bronze-level jobs as orphans.
“By signing my work I reveal who my clients are, and a rival might steal them away.”
If you can lose your clients that easily, the problem lies elsewhere.
In translation, there are many ways to reinforce your ties to the businesses in your client portfolio. Making signed work your standard actually reinforces your value proposition: it’s a differentiator that confirms your pride in your work and helps you stake out your section of the premium market.
“We are a top-end translation agency; we add massive value—why should the translator’s name appear when we do most of the work?”
If you are convinced that is the situation, by all means sign with your agency’s name. But somebody sign, please. And in a few years, your agency may be brave enough and secure enough to take a page from our photographer friends’ book and use both agency and translator name: Spanish text: José Bloggs for International Global Translation Excellence Group & Partners.
The fact is, when nobody takes responsibility (and credit) and opacity reigns, the people who interest me—clients and good translation suppliers—all suffer.
If LSPs (freelancers and agencies) were to get into the habit of signing even 50% of the commercial, technical and other translations found in industry and elsewhere, we would be well on our way to a healthier market in just two or three years. And that’s a shake-out I would really love to see.

Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2016

Mehr Licht auf Übersetzer! - Oder?

Auf boersenblatt.net erschien vor ein paar Tagen ein kleiner Artikel von Volker Heydt zum Thema der Sichtbarkeit der Literaturübersetzer, nachzulesen hier.

Bis jetzt gibt es nur wenige Kommentare dazu, dafür aber auch kontroverse mit interessanten Punkten.

Mein Hauptbetätigungsfeld fällt ja eher in den nicht-literarischen Bereich, und die Nennung von Übersetzern z.B. bei Bedienungsanleitungen erscheint mir, ehrlich gesagt, auch etwas absurd. (Obwohl, dann müsste so mancher Hersteller endlich zugeben, dass Herr Gugel beauftragt wurde...)
Nichtsdestotrotz würde mich interessieren, wie wichtig es zum einen den Übersetzern, zum anderen aber auch den Empfängern (Kunden, Zielgruppe...) im Falle von beispielsweise Webseiten, Werbung oder Jahresberichten ist, namentlich zu wissen, wer den Text übertragen hat, soweit das nicht sowieso schon geschieht.
Und noch weiter gesponnen: Wäre das überhaupt eine gute und wünschenswerte Sache? Würde das evtl. die Qualität, den Preis o.a. beeinflussen? Warum oder warum nicht? Und wenn ja, positiv oder negativ?

Mittwoch, 22. Juni 2016

Challenge for interpreters

Just this week I had to remind my interpreting students how important it is to address people correctly - and then this pops up on Facebook:


This won't be part of their exam in two weeks - but it would have been interesting to see how they deal with it...
To be fair though, I wouldn't have known all the correct translations, either... Would you have?

Mittwoch, 15. Juni 2016

Zitat der Woche

Wie menschlich Menschen sind,
zeigt ihr Umgang mit der Muttersprache.
 Friedrich Schiller (1759 - 1805)

Donnerstag, 9. Juni 2016

Speak slowly, speak in your mother tongue

The news is not new in itself (the post is from February), but it was new to me - even though the content of it wasn't. (Have I confused you yet?)
What am I talking about? The fact that the interpreters of the European Parliament have asked its Members to speak slowly and use their mother tongue when saying something (read the article here).

Anyone who has ever interpreted knows how difficult it is to render the spoken word accurately when the speaker is going at as much as 180 words per minute. Add to that an accent or not-quite-correct grammar and vocabulary and you soon have the interpreters tearing out their hair in frustration by the fistful. And if it's both... well, need I say more?

(c) ralaenin
 While there are situations where people using a common language is expedient for one reason or another, for example in smaller companies, at international conventions etc., there should be truly no reason for this in any of the bodies of the EU. As the article says, there are sufficient interpreters available.

Besides, I think being able to say what you really mean, especially when it comes to politics or business, should be worth the price - and the time - of (good and proper) interpretation.

So the advice to "speak slowly and in your mother tongue" applies not only in the European Parliament, but really to all important communication, wouldn't you agree? After all, that's what we professionals are for...