Taking the Show on the Road: Multicultural Concerns and International 160 Speeches These mistranslations serve to illustrate one of the toughest aspects of translating from one lan- guage to another: keeping idioms intact. Many times, idioms cannot be translated from one language to another. Skilled translators can help you avoid these blunders. Let's take a look at how to use translators. As the number of people speaking languages other than English has grown in America, so has the need for translators. Translators are called upon to translate courtroom testimony, operating man- uals, and business contracts, among other things. Speech of the Devil Beware of foreign slang. Then-President John F. Kennedy got tripped up with his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" line. JFK wanted to say, "I am a Berliner," but he really said, "I am a jelly donut." That's because the correct phrase is "Ich bin Berliner"--"I am Berliner"--without the article "ein" ("a"). Adding the article results in the slang phrase for a donut. Unfortunately, there is a huge difference between someone who happens to speak a foreign lan- guage and someone who has the ability to translate between speakers and writers of different lan- guages. The first is an amateur; the second, a professional. Competent, effective public speaking requires a professional. If at all possible, take your own translator when you travel to another country on business. Discuss with the translator ahead of time the nature of your work abroad, the speech or speeches you will be giving, and any technical terms you will be including. How can you find a translator who can do the best possible job for you? Start by word of mouth: Ask people in your field for recommendations. Unfortunately, people tend to guard good translators with the same zeal they use to safeguard trusted child-care workers, cleaning help, hairdressers, and the last of the super-premium ice-cream. If no one steps forward with a recommendation, con- sider advertising for a translator. Class Act A good translator can help you interpret nonverbal behavior and negotiating strategies. In any event, carefully interview all candidates. During the interview, see if you feel comfortable with the candidate. If you feel uneasy, this is not the right translator for you--no matter how good the individual's reputation and skills are. Remem- ber, you are essentially trusting this person with your reputation. You want to select a person you can work with easily. See if the person projects the image you want: Is the candidate professional, well-groomed, and competent? Use this checklist when interviewing translator candidates. · How did you learn the language? · Where did you study?