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
: 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.
: 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.
: 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
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.
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
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.