Should You Wear a Suit?

Happy Friday, dear colleagues! Today's quick post is meant for interpreters, especially court interpreters, and the answer to this very simple question should be: yes.

We put on suits for you. Photo by Ulf Buchholz.
Oftentimes in our profession we battle with the fact that we might not be perceived as true professionals by others, which is disheartening. However, we haven't always done ourselves a favor by not sticking to some basic rules of business, and one of them is professional dress. We've seen plenty of underdressed court interpreters, or interpreters who reveal too much, or interpreters who wear clothes that are too tight or simply inappropiate for professional situations. One of the ways we can ensure that outsides to the industry take our profession seriously is by dressing professionally--we have to advance the industry from the inside out. And dressing professionally is something that we can very easily do. You don't have to spend a fortune to look good, and just get a few suits that fit well and have "court" written all over them. In fact, you do want to get mistaken for an attorney, as that is usually a good sign (Judy gets addressed as "counsel" at least once a day).

So what say you, dear colleagues? How about we advocate for the professionalism and importance of our industry without having to say a word? Clothes might sound trite in the big scheme of things, but they are key and also very much contribute to first (and second, and third) impressions. So the next time you ask yourself the "Should I wear a suit question?" we have an answer for you: yes, put on that suit and go interpret and conquer. Save the comfy outfits for home and the tight and revealing choices for a night on the town.

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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