Interpreting is one of the most demanding language jobs in the world. But it is, at the same time, also one of the most rewarding and well paid professions.
How do these linguistic conjurers hear and speak at the same time? How do they keep their cool when the stakes are so high, all while working directly with world leaders and business tycoons?
In this article, we dive into the world of simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, learning how these mythological figures called interpreters work, and sharing some expert advice to help you follow their journey.
The personality of the interpreter
To begin, let's try to get into the minds of those who choose this career. Is there a personality type more inclined to follow the path of becoming an interpreter?
The response from experts and insiders is generally negative. Having an introverted or extroverted personality neither decreases nor increases the possibility of doing this job successfully.
That said, it seems that the most successful interpreters share some common traits, among all the ability to empathize with others and curiosity.
Empathy is the ability to enter into relationships with others, to identify with an external point of view, capturing thoughts, ideas, emotions, nuances and cognitive facets.
Curiosity is that call that comes from within and that leads the interpreter to always wonder why things are and to go beyond the surface. Curiosity is the propellant through which an interpreter is trained and improves relentlessly.
Personal inclinations, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, are decisive in shaping what we could define as the forma mentis of the interpreter, but they are not sufficient if taken alone.
Like any other high-profile professional, the interpreter must also possess the technical requirements to learn how to carry out his/her job.
Just as an aspiring pianist needs ten fingers to learn to play the instrument, a particular talent and love for music and maniacal training to reach high performance levels, so the aspiring interpreter should possess a whole series of skills and qualities .
First, a premise: the sooner you start getting serious about interpreting, the better. It is a universal rule that unites most of the most coveted and selective professions and trades.
If you are lucky enough to have learned two or more languages
Furthermore, among the skills that an interpreter should have are communication skills and the ability to memorize a large amount of information in a short time. In this regard, we have already proposed a series of exercises and memory techniques to help you upgrade this skill. It is clear that to mentally translate a spoken discourse and reproduce it in another language, instantly, an absolute mastery of the grammatical, lexical and syntactic structures of both languages
What kind of training is needed to become an interpreter
There are different types of interpreting out there and just as many ways to train and train in those specific types, but regardless of these important differences, there is one assumption that applies to anyone who aspires to become an interpreter: training, through specialized schools and courses and highly professional.
There are no shortcuts. The training of the interpreter must be entrusted to professionals in the field. In this sector you cannot improvise, because there are too many things to learn.
In addition to the right linguistic skills, the interpreter must also know the context in which he operates and the sectoral skills necessary to operate in that given context. To be clearer, the work of an interpreter working in a specialized medical center will never be the same as that of a colleague in a court.
What is the next step to becoming an interpreter?
In summary, interpreting is a very demanding job because it is carried out in very different situations (specialized congresses, political or commercial negotiations, meetings of international organizations…). Regardless of the theme of the conference and the accent or idiom of a speaker, the interpreter has the responsibility to ensure that the message reaches its recipients with total fidelity and correctness.
Therefore, before starting the training, it is necessary to ensure that the student possesses certain knowledge and skills that make him suitable for acquiring consecutive and simultaneous interpreting techniques. It is also advisable for the student to ask for information on their language combination to ensure that they can access the job market.
Marketing Team International Congresses
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