Doing business with China: using an interpreter

You plan to make a business trip to China. Should you hire an interpreter from the UK or hire one in China? It depends on your budget, says – the unique online marketplace that helps you find exactly the kind of freelance help you need to do business with China. writes:

We suggest that you hire an interpreter in the city you are visiting.

If your trip includes more than one city, you can even consider hiring a different interpreter for each location, to save your travel costs.  However, the advantage of using the same interpreter for the whole visit is consistency – saving you time in briefing each individual.

If you want honest and impartial translation, we believe it’s best to use your own interpreter even if your Chinese contact already has an interpreter for the meeting.

You can find a freelancer directly on  to handle your interpretation work. Either invite freelancers to bid for a specific project, or search for suitable freelancers on the site and then invite them to work with you. That way you get to choose who gets to do your work.

 Finding help in this way can save you a huge amount of money. Agencies can charge more than £1000 per day in some cases!

By contacting an interpreter directly you may be able to find someone suitable in China for as little as £100 per day for escort interpretation and around £300/day for conference interpretation. Of course, you can simply hire someone "who can speak English" for even less money! It all depends on your level of need and experience required.

If you are conducting important business, you want someone who has a proven track record. There is as much a difference between a professional interpreter and a bilingual person as between a published author and the average English speaker. advises you to look for three key things:

 1) Credentials from recognised professional/government bodies, such as the China Accreditation Test for Translators and Interpreters (CATTI) and National Accreditation Examinations for Translators and Interpreters (NAETI)

2) Relevant experience

3) References.

At, we vet registered freelancers before they are allowed to bid for work on the platform.

Visit the site at to find out more about doing business with China.


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