Interpretation in the media – The role of interpreters in television programs

Interpretazione nei media – Il ruolo degli interpreti nei programmi televisivi

When we watch our favorite television shows, we are often unaware of the complex work behind the scenes. In TV, one of the most important tasks falls to the interpreters, who ensure that different speaking audiences can understand the program content. In this article, we will try to identify the main television contexts in which performers work and to reveal the importance of their role in making the television industry go round.

The television contexts in which the interpreters work

Interpretation services are needed in various television contexts to make programs multilingual and therefore accessible to a very large audience. Here are some of the key media contexts where the unique skills of interpreters are required:

International news broadcasts: Television stations covering events of international interest often require interpreters to allow viewers of different nationalities to follow the news in real time.

International Sporting Events: Interpreters are often needed to cover international sporting events such as the Olympics, where viewers from around the world can follow the competitions with live translation of participant and commentator interviews.

Entertainment programmes: Interpreters may be used in entertainment programmes, such as talk shows or reality shows, where there may be different speaking participants or guests.

Press conferences: Press conferences of major international organizations or political leaders may require TV interpreters to translate statements and answers to reporters' questions in real time.

Educational Programs: Interpreters are often needed for educational programs, such as documentaries or lectures, where there are interviews or testimonies in a foreign language.

The tasks and challenges of interpreters in the media

Media interpreters are tasked with making content accessible to different speaking audiences. Whether it is an international political event, a sporting event or a television programme, interpreters must translate the dialogue so that the audience can follow it and understand the meaning of the words, without losing any of the original content. This task is particularly difficult for live simultaneous translation, as interpreters have to translate quickly without losing the sense of the speech and without distorting the speaker's inflections, intentions and emotions.

Interpreters working for broadcasters face unique challenges compared to other types of interpreting. In addition to the need to quickly adapt to different speaking styles, dialects and accents, in order to ensure an accurate understanding of the content, they are perfectly aware that they are in a context where even the smallest of errors risks turning into a gaffe, because thrown to the vast public tuned live to the event, which significantly increases the intrinsic difficulty in carrying out their tasks.

Without taking into account the difficulties of a technical nature linked both to the nature of the interpreting profession and to that of live television, including:

Technical Language: When covering events such as press conferences or discussions on technical topics, interpreters may encounter specialist or technical terminology that requires in-depth knowledge of the industry.

Speech speed: In some cases, speakers can speak very quickly which may make it difficult for the interpreter to catch every single word and translate simultaneously. In this case, the interpreter may need to use speech flow management techniques to match the pace of the speaker.

Emotional content: in some situations, such as interviews with witnesses of traumatic or tragic events, interpreters may have to deal with emotional and sensitive content that requires great sensitivity and attention.

Technical problems: the technical functioning of the transmission could create difficulties for the interpreters, for example if the audio or video signal is disturbed or interrupted, or if there are synchronization problems between the audio and the video. In this case, the interpreter will have to adapt quickly to continue to deliver an accurate and timely translation.

Simultaneous translation and video interpreting of International Congresses

Interpreters play a crucial role in the media and ensure that the content of television programs can be understood by different speaking audiences. Interpreting on live television is one of the most demanding and stressful forms of interpreting, but fortunately today's interpreters can count on modern technologies to support their work.

In this context, Congressi Internazionali offers high quality services to support international events, helping to make the world a more connected and accessible place.

We are able to provide you with linguistic and communication solutions in 200 language combinations and manage up to 350 events per year.

To ensure a high-quality experience for everyone who attends your events, try the interpreting service and interpreted video of international congresses.


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