Clients’ Quality Expectations in Malaysian Conference Interpreting

Mansour Amini, Saber Alavi, Davoud Amini


As part of an unpublished doctoral thesis on “Conference Interpreting in Malaysia”, this paper reports clients’ expectations and highlights the necessity of taking what they anticipate as ideal into consideration. The study tailored on-site and off-site questionnaire-based survey study in Malaysian conference interpreting setting. The relative importance of various quality criteria attached by 42 clients as well as their responses to open-ended questions, adopted from the established questionnaires, revealed the interpreting clients’ perspectives and expectations from interpreting quality. The analysis of data by scale analysis and codification of the open-ended responses into matrices showed that different clients might have different expectations. Clients rated terminology as the most important quality criterion and native accent as the least important. The most interesting aspect of interpreting profession was international contacts, while they rated speed and time constraints as the most difficult aspect of conference interpreting. Interpreters’ lack of faithfulness to the original was indicated as the principal shortcoming, whereas incorrect terminology and unfinished sentences were the most irritating aspects of conference interpreting in clients’ point of view.Their suggestions to improve quality were mostly interpreter-related such as training interpreters and updating their knowledge, as well as organisationalrelated aspects like cooperation of the clients, interpreters, conference organisers, and users.


Quality Expectations; Clients; Conference Interpreting

Full Text:



Amini, M., Ibrahim- González, N. (2012). The washback effect of cloze and multiple-choice tests on vocabulary acquisition. Language in India. Vol 12 (7).

Amini, M., Ibrahim- González, N. & Ayob, L. (2013). Quality of interpreting from users’ perspectives. International Journal of Language and Education. Vol 2(1).

Amini, M., Ibrahim- González, N. Ayob, L. & Amini, D. (2015). Users’ Quality Expectations in Conference Interpreting. International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding. Vol 2 (5), Hamburg: Germany.

Bühler, H. (1986). Linguistic (semantic) and extra-linguistic (pragmatic) criteria for the evaluation of conference interpretation and interpreters. Multilingua, 5(4), 231-235.

Denscombe, M. (2007). The good research guide: For small-scale social research projects. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Kahane, E. (2000). Thoughts on the quality of interpretation. Retrieved from

Kalina, S. (2005). Quality assurance for interpreting processes. Meta, 50 (2), 768 784.

Kurz, I. (2001). Conference interpreting: Quality in the ears of the user. Meta, 46 (2), 394-409.

Pallant, J. (2001). SPSS Survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS for windows. USA: Open University Press Milton Keynes.

Pöchhacker, F. (1994). Quality assurance in simultaneous interpreting. C. Dollerup & A. Lindegaard (Eds.) (pp. 233-242).

Pöchhacker, F. (2001). Quality assessment in conference and community interpreting. Meta, 46 (2). 401-425.

Moser-Mercer, B. (1996). Quality in Interpreting: Some methodological issues. The Interpreters’ Newsletter, (7), 43-55.

Shlesinger, M. (1997). Quality in simultaneous interpreting. In Y. Gambier, D. Gile & C. Taylor (Eds.), Conference interpreting: Current trends in research (pp. 123-131) Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding (IJMMU) ISSN 2364-5369
Copyright © 2014-2018 IJMMU. All rights reserved.