In communicating with the Chinese, the key
problem that the Canadians faced was from the interpreter. In this case,
Canadian chose to have the interpreter appointed by the host and he/she seemed
to be a part of the Chinese team instead of just a neutral participant. In
Canada, along with America, Germany and the Great Britain, an interpreter is supposed
to provide an accurate, unbiased account of what is said (textbook page 147).
This is, however, not always true. In high-context countries, interpreters are
made sure to be part of the team. Besides, the interpreter assigned was not
even capable of delivering 100% of what was mentioned due to his/her lack of
knowledge when it came to technical terms.
Taking this problem into consideration, it
is wise for the Canadian executives to have the interpreter’s credentials
checked thoroughly in advance. Besides, the interpreter should have received a
list of technical terms that would be used, as well as background information
of the client company. A good idea is that the Canadian team should have had
their interpreter as well to avoid the situation of one-sided affair between
the interpreter and the Chinese company. Other than that, the Canadians should
have broken materials into clear sections so that an idea can be translated at
a time. Ambiguities should be avoided and time should be given for the interpreter
to catch up.