Rodenbach language resources

Interpreters convey spoken messages from one language to another. The same rules as those for translators apply regarding source and target languages. People are often astonished upon hearing how many languages an interpreter has. Well, a difference has to be made between active languages and passive languages. Having a passive language does not require as much knowledge of the language as if it were an active or source language. This does not take away any credit from interpreters. The ability to convey a message instantaneously from one language to another requires a great deal of mental strength. The interpreter has to capture the subtleties of a speech. He is a medium between two people who do not understand one another. The ability to grasp terms, references to specific topics and even humour and render it in another language can be daunting. Also, interpreters unlike translators cannot go over what they have said. Here, the notion of ideas over words comes into play. When interpreting one cannot convey every word. The purpose is not an oral translation. Interpreters need to "stand back", process the information they receive and render it in their own words. The delivery should be what a native speaker would say and not a copy of the source structure.

There are three kinds of interpreting:
Liaison: the interpreter sits between two people taking down a few minutes of each person's speech and delivering it on to the other person. If the interpreter does not interrupt the speakers but continually whispers then this is called (you guessed it!) whispering.
Consecutive: here a speech lasting several minutes is made, the interpreter takes down notes and then gives back the speech with its ideas, tone and register in the target language. The notes are often a mixture of symbols referring to ideas and words.Once again ideas prevail over word for word.
Simultaneous: la crème de la crème, at conferences in the booths with headphones, interpreters render speeches with no time to go over what they have said. It is like tightrope walking without a safety net.
The customer's interest should never be far away. This leads us to three main points for interpreting.
Keep going! Sounds easy but when you are stuck for words you must find a nice way to sidestep the problem. The customer must not feel you are gradually becoming "out of tune" and missing out information.
Finish sentences! You must try to avoid starting a sentence if you cannot finish it. It does not sound good when sentences are left hanging, your customer could start switching to another booth.
Have a businesslike approach. You are a language professional so look and act the part. A tricky part is to ooze confidence even when simultaneous interpreting at a conference can be daunting.
Professional interpreters will tell you nothing can help as much as experience. Many people will tell you do this and that etc. It is really up to you to find out what makes you relax and take it easy.

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