UWED TCI, 2014
What is interpreting?
To be honest, before entering the Training Centre for Interpreters, I could hardly answer this question. All I knew was the fact that a person striving to become an interpreter should speak English pretty well and have a rich vocabulary. I thought that almost everybody who knew foreign languages well enough could automatically function as interpreters. And even while being the second-year student in the A-group of professor Samadov, this careless image of an interpreter was still on my mind. Moreover, I was so self-assured, that I sincerely considered my English to be almost perfect. I was surprised to find out that there was a whole world of things I had no idea about.
Today I can say with confidence that this noble profession should be considered as one of the hardest ever. One of my brightest impressions of the whole course of interpreting was my first attempt to interpret simultaneously a speech from Russian into English. I realized the whole meaning of the word “concentration” then. Your level of English may be pretty high, but if you do not posses special professional skills, you would have insurmountable difficulties and, most likely, fail. The fact is you have to listen and interpret, practically, at the same time. The task seems to be so unnatural. The worst thing which usually happens in the interpreting booth is that you start panicking for you aren’t able to do these two things at once. Moreover, while participating in the training course on consecutive interpreting we were taught not to translate mechanically, i.e. not to translate every word.
I knew that I had to catch the main idea of a sentence, pay attention to the style of the speaker and deliver what I got with confidence. Yes, I new the theory very well, but I also understood how difficult was all that when it came to practice. I also understood why we were always told to regularly practice at home. From my point of view it is not difficult to understand how interpreting should be done, but what is really difficult it is the practical side of it. This is actually what makes the study of a foreign language and interpreting so different. Now I know how I should overcome the difficulties. As the say at our training center: don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed, try again and again and exercise at home every day! What you need for exercises in simultaneous is only a recorded speech, headphones and a telephone or some other recording gadget. That’s it. With time, if you are insistent enough, you would be able to overcome the difficulties and feel really happy.
As for the process of teaching at our Centre, I can say that it combines various methods of training and exercises which are so different from ordinary English lessons we, the students, were used to. One of the good things about the training is that you can demonstrate your skills by participating in various conferences and other specially organized events, regularly held at the Center and inspire other students to become interpreters. So, if you want to gain special skills, broaden your outlook and obtain interesting and modern profession, welcome to the TCI!