UWED TCI, 2014
Interpreting as I See It.
Hello everyone who is interested in such an exciting activity as interpreting and also in our Training Centre. My name is Natasha Goncharova and I’m a fifths grade student of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, International Law Department. I’ve been attending interpreter training centre’s classes for 3,5 years. During this period I had an opportunity to take part in various events, conferences, meetings and festivals, organized by our University, the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, namely: Chess Tournament among the representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, Negotiations between Uzbekistan and Norway on discussion of draft law on readmission, Food Festival among the Embassies, accredited in Uzbekistan, Food and Agricultural Conference, 99- session of United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Executive Council, etc. All events mentioned above were really interesting, highly informative, full of bright occasions, well-educated, cultured, professional, outstanding people, challenging situations owing to which now I’m able to share my experience, some knowledge and my own understanding of interpreting and my personal findings concerning the interpreting process, organizational, cultural matters, possible difficulties and their solutions.
From my point of view what Interpreters do can be described as converting a spoken language statements from one language into another. Interpreting involves listening, understanding and memorizing content in the original ‘source’ language, then reproducing statements, questions and speeches in a different ‘target’ language.
There are many types of interpreting, but our Centre mainly focuses on
- Simultaneous interpretation: working in a team of two at a conference or a large meeting, where the interpreter sits in a soundproof booth and immediately translates what is being said, so that listeners are able to hear the interpretation through ear phones while the speaker is still speaking. A variation of this is whispering, or chuchotage, where the interpreter sits near to one person or a small group of people and whispers the translation as the speaker carries on. Interpreters typically take turns of about 20-30 minutes as the job demands a very high level of concentration.
The best thing to do in such cases is to prepare beforehand so that you are able to learn as much as possible of the subject matter. Study dictionaries, brows websites, where you can find information to enrich yourself on the subject. Don’t worry, If the speech delivery is too fast, you can summarize what has been said, but that needs lots of practice
- Consecutive interpretation : more common in smaller meetings and discussions. The speaker delivers his speech and makes pauses to let the interpreter translate what has been said into the appropriate language.
Working In this mode you need good note taking skills. The main advice here is as follows: regularly practice at home.
One of the most important facts in interpreting is that you can’t really draw a distinct line between language and culture. They are two sides of one thing. And it’s only natural that, when we – students – are trying to acquire needed skills to become interpreters, we learn and understand our own culture much better. At the same time we raise our awareness of cultural ingredients regularly available while we interpret for people representing other countries.
Some people think the ability to understand and speak a language is enough to be an interpreter or a translator (like speaking a language is enough to teach it). Interpretation is a technical skill that requires training. Consecutive and simultaneous interpretation differ very much. That’s why some professional interpreters handle both and some specialize in only one of them.
In general terms, here are some of the qualifications and skills needed to make a good interpreter, which I always try to follow myself:
- Perfect mastery of your main language and a thorough knowledge of at least one more language
- Ability to understand, memorize, analyze and reproduce a message within very short period of time
- Highly developed communicative skills. Interpreter is a communicator and a very good rhetorician
- Capacity to understand and transform idioms and other culturally-specific references into analogous statements
- Curiosity – an interest in the world around you and broad general knowledge about as many things as possible.
- Flexibility but also professionalism, passion but also neutrality and a respect for privacy, and the ability to manage stress.
It is desirable for an interpreter to have time for preparation before the meeting, presentation or something of this sort. For instance, Cardiology is not just “cardiology”. An event in cardiology can involve many nuances and specialization within the general field, and the interpreter needs information to be studied beforehand.
So, this is my understanding of interpreting, based on personal experience during my study at UWED TCI.