Who is the interpreter and what do they do?

In the last few articles we talked about translations. We discussed about what a translation is, how we measure a translation page, what are the types of translations and other useful information. Today we’re going to go one step further and tell you about interpreting services.

But who exactly is the interpreter?

Imagine two people sitting in a room. These two people could be politicians, business people, public or private sector representatives who want to have a conversation. However, neither of these people knows the other’s language well enough to be able to have a mutually fruitful encounter. So they decide to call in another person who knows both languages well, so that they can explain what exactly each person wants to say. This person is called an interpreter.

The above scenario may seem simplistic and satirical, but it helps you get a clearer idea of what an interpreter does. Indeed, an interpreter can also be a performer, a person who plays a certain type of music. But in our case we’ll stick to the person who provides interpreting services: spoken translations on the spot.

You may think that this activity is a simple one. How hard can it be to translate, for example, from Romanian into English? Everyone speaks and understands English.

The interpreter is an artist!

Yes, you read that right. Say the translation and interpreting company operates in Romania; thus, in addition to knowing both Romanian and the foreign language into which he or she is translating, the interpreter creates a connection with the speaker they are working with. To optimally get the message across, the interpreter uses a certain intonation and rhythm of speech. In a manner of speaking, the interpreter becomes a version of the speaker.

It’s not easy to keep calm when you have 200 people looking at you with curious eyes or in anticipation. Just as it’s not easy to see that no one is watching or listening. In some cases you even get the impression that people are bored.

I think you’ve realised by now that the interpreter has to walk in the shoes of the speaker and do so with grace and wisdom. And if it wasn’t enough that they become small actors on stage, the interpreters need to have knowledge of different domains, some more general and accessible, others very specialized.

Thus the interpreters prepare their speech in the same way as actors rehearse their lines before the play. Remember that the interpreter is not a walking dictionary.

What is interpreting?

The activity whereby the interpreter translates the speaker’s message from a language into another and vice versa.

Where exactly can you meet an interpreter?

Literally everywhere. At a conference, at a course, at a business meeting, even at a legal marriage ceremony. Yes! Even in a civil wedding setting. In Romania, When a marriage takes place between a Romanian citizen and a citizen of another nationality, the interpreter is there and helps unite the destinies of the two.

Now you know better what an interpreter does in the translation domain. And if you want to find out more, you can read the article on interpreting on Wall-Street.ro (the article is in Romanian, but Google Chrome’s Translate does an acceptable job translating it).

And if we got you curious, we’ll soon publish a piece where we tell you about the types of interpreting services, what are the characteristics of each one and how you can make your message as clear as possible when you need to book an interpreter’s services.

The Transl8 team wishes you a wonderful week.

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