G.Abdullajanova – What do you think about the state of interpreting in Uzbekistan (education, professional activity of interpreters etc.)?
A.Khashimov – Lie of the land? Until recently, the profession of interpreter almost didn’t exist in our country. Everything started after first days of independence, because, before that, there wasn’t any need in interpreters in Uzbekistan, as serious events which needed simultaneous interpreting weren’t held in our country. After gaining independence, Uzbekistan turned into a real political and cultural center and different conferences on an international scale started taking place in the country. This is when a great demand for interpreters came to the fore. They needed not just interpreters but high class ones . In fact, these conferences didn’t differ much from those which were held in New York, Paris or Tokyo. At that time, there was a group of enthusiasts who had been working independently and studied so called “secrets of simultaneous interpreting” and they could more or less work in this sphere, but there were very few of them. That is why several higher educational institutions now embarked on setting up special courses on interpretation, for example, a department of interpretation was organized at the UWL, a training center for interpreters where students are trained to interpret for diplomatic service of Uzbekistan is fruitfully functioning at UWED. A number of interpreters started working in Uzbekistan. Some of them were self made, others attended courses organized by the government, some – were able to study interpreting abroad. There were not many of them, nevertheless, they made up the group, which continuously had been working for the events which took place in Uzbekistan. I hope very much that in the nearest future a stable academic body which will train interpreters of international class will be created in our country. Even now we have interpreters who don’t yield to the interpreters of international level, because our professional activity isn’t limited to the events held in Uzbekistan, we work a lot overseas and this is a very good factor, as it gives us an opportunity not only to see foreign interpreters work, but also advertise our interpreters who are not worse but sometimes even better than some of the international interpreters.
G.A.- I see, thank you. We know that you are a very successful and experienced interpreter and as we are only at the beginning stage of studies, we would appreciate your advice on the system of self perfection in the field . May be you could reveal some of your professional secrets?
A.KH.- You know, simultaneous interpreting, access to simultaneous interpreting, secrets of simultaneous interpreting were always a big mystery even for many good interpreters. It’s like a club, a small society and it’s very difficult to become a part of it. But, if one is able to enter it, he should digest these difficulties and secrets by himself, because he has to go through all of this on his own. It is good to have recommendations given by an expert, but no one is able to realize them, until he goes through the field on his own. Of course, I can give some advice to beginner interpreters. First and foremost you should continuously work and cultivate your abilities; you should work systematically on the languages you specialize in during all your life. Secondly, you are supposed to regularly improve your mother tongue. Thirdly, you should broaden your knowledge in all spheres of life, science, politics, culture and what not. We may deal with doctors today, tomorrow – with engineers, the day after tomorrow – with bankers and so on. Topics change very often and if one wants to be a really successful interpreter, he should improve his knowledge non stop. Besides, you should work on your voice for this profession is associated with the profession of an actor, he should have a good diction, adapt to any situation. Usually we’re interpreting in good conference halls with fairly good technical equipment. But sometimes, we have to work in a totally different situation it means, we need to adapt to it. An interpreter can not demand comfortable conditions. There are many more things to mention, it’s not possible to enumerate all of them during 5-10 minutes. The most important thing is practice, practice and practice. One should also engage into study of the theoretical basis of interpreting. It also requires special attention. I mean, you should get professional education in this sphere. As I have said above, at present some of these things are being organized in Tashkent.
G.A.- Thank you very much. Would you like to express your wishes to our students?
A.Kh- Yes, certainly. I wish the students, to work more, work unceasingly, tirelessly, and if in the beginning, and this is unavoidable, you bump into certain obstacles or draw a short straw, if something doesn’t turn out as you wanted, don’t surrender, go on making efforts, because there’s no interpreter who hasn’t made mistakes, we are all human and such situations are normal. To draw conclusions from those mistakes is above all. Only this kind of an approach will help you to become a good interpreter.
G.A.- Thank you very much for the interview!