Interpreting Culture: Understanding Intent, Speaker Roles, and Content over Language

It is important to apply pragmatics when interpreting, by thinking beyond the language used and being conscious of the speakers’ roles and intents.  For example, a first-time visitor from Japan to the US would most likely require different treatment in interpretation than a three-year resident, and a non-Japanese would be treated differently depending on his/her familiarity with Japanese culture, or whether he/she negotiates with a non-Japanese style.
For interpreters and translators whose native language is not Japanese or English, interpreting between one’s second and third languages doesn’t have to be a handicap.  One of the presenters fits into the category, since she has had to learn English and Japanese as second languages to her native Chinese.  By proving a familiarity with the content of complicated systems, such as manufacturing development flow or cost analysis, the presenter has been able to make up for the inability to be a native in either language.