UWED TCI , 2015
From the very beginning of our students’ life at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy we heard much about so called “pilot” English group where simultaneous interpreters were trained. Most of the senior year students who had a chance to be the part of this interpreters training group used to tell us that it was something desperately difficult. Those times I had very vague idea of what simultaneous interpreting was about though I was very excited about the upcoming opportunity to learn more. This opportunity was given us when we became third year students and I understood that those senior year students were not lying or exaggerating. Everything was exactly as they had described: totally unknown, hard and so time & effort consuming. Our trainer, Dr. Samadov, was not praising us just for mere ability to express our opinion in simple English like other teachers used to. On the contrary he wanted us to improve in every possible way, made us work on our pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar of English, command of our mother tongue, logics, general understanding of politics, economy, and so on and so forth… It was the very moment when I realized that I was quite far from being fluent not only in English but in local Russian and Uzbek too.
We started to study the theory of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. We read numerous books, made a bunch of different exercises, but still were so far from our goal – to be able to act as interpreters. Once I felt so much frustrated that decided to leave interpreting group. I thought: “my major is law, not interpreting, so why on earth I’m wasting so much time and effort here”?! But for some reason I decided to stay and now looking back I realize that this decision was one of the best ones in my life. As our classes went on I eventually became able to make some interpreting. Later thanks to this ability of mine I had a chance to participate in many interesting events, conferences, made friends from various countries, volunteered and worked for such well-reputed organizations as UNDP, ADB and Doctors without borders, and last but not least, earned some money to support myself.
Not so long ago we graduated from our University. Although we are considered to be graduates of TCI, to be honest, I think am still far from being a good interpreter. But I am learning, trying to improve and working from time to time as a translator and interpreter. So I can say that I have gained some experience in this sphere. I want to make my essay practically handful and to share some advice based on my own experience with all would-be interpreters besides those hints that are provided in our course books:
- Try to learn as much as possible about the topic of the event where you will be acting as an interpreter in advance.
- Attentively familiarize yourself with the agenda and schedule of the event you are going to participate in as an interpreter. Agendas and schedules are always available in advance so be sure that you know correct pronunciation of the names of key participants and speakers, titles and the order of the speeches.
- Make sure that you always have some personal identification document. In Uzbekistan only passport is the only universally valid identifier. Do not rely on your library card or driving license.
- Your clothes should be classical, neutral and comfortable at the same time. Girls, high heels are not the best idea when you are working as an interpreter.
- Do not forget to have your own bottle of water during the work, just to be on the safe side. As a rule water should be provided by the organizers, still some exceptions from this rule are always possible.
- Try to be on the venue one hour before the event and check the equipment. Sometimes changes in agenda at the very day of the event are the case. You should be in the know of all updates on time.
- Watch every single sound you are uttering while interpreting. If you want to sneeze/cough/swallow/take a deep breath, push the mute button.
Wish you the best of luck in your interpreting classes and career! Do not forget, this way is rather difficult but it is really rewarding.