Working with a translator was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. She was a proficient translatior, one who worked with Hillary Clinton when she was on her last visit. It was amazing to work with a professional translator, watching her take the concepts I was working with and communicate them in a clear fashion.
What I found to be most fascinating about working with a translator was that the women I was working with didn’t understand what I was saying. But while speaking a language they didn’t understand, utilizing my tone of voice, my rhythm and my pitch, the women were able to begin to understand what I was saying. The translation was there to confirm the concepts I was communicating. My energy, my tonality, my non-verbal behaviour was so clear to them they could listen to that and get a sense of what my intent was, what I was trying to say. Being in an experinence where you don’t speak the same language solidifies the importance of thinking about your intent and having that intent present in your voice and usuing vocally variety to communicate that.
Translators force you to speak in complete phrases and concepts – you can’t just run off ideas. This is a lesson we can all take into our everyday and work life communication. Take time to think through what you are trying to communicate, use your non-verbal behavior to support your ideas and speak clearly and slowly when you are addressing a group of people.