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THE INTERPRETER – COMMON PLACES vs REALITY

The profession of the interpreter seems to be one of the most interesting: it is
a world that has always attracted and fascinated. 

In the collective imagination, the profession of interpreter seems to be one of the most interesting: it is a world that has always attracted and fascinated. 

It is commonly imagined that the interpreter travels the world, comes into contact with different cultures, is continually spurred on by new stimuli, working in splendid locations, for important events or prestigious international congresses. All true. But there is also the reverse of the medal.

What really lies behind such a fascinating and delicate job?

To better understand the life of an interpreter, we interviewed Marta, a conference interpreter specializing in marketing, tourism and fashion, and we discovered a new world where one travels, yes, but between airports, hotels and stations, where interlocutors are unpredictable and the unexpected is always around the corner.

We know that the interpreter translates orally from one language to another. But do you become an interpreter for work or for passion?

I've always been fascinated by all things travel, exchange, communication, and I've always had clear ideas about my future. To be a good interpreter you must be willing to move constantly, to run halfway around the world without great notice and to sustain a fast pace. But you have to do it with your heart. I was lucky enough to make my passion my job. And I wouldn't trade it for the world!

So the idea of the interpreter always on the go corresponds to reality.

Yes, in part, but travel is often synonymous with vacation. I travel the world, it's true, but I rarely stop or have time to visit cities or places of interest.

How do you manage to sustain such rhythms and keep your concentration high?

My job requires extreme concentration. You can't get distracted or lose your lucidity. "Performance anxiety" accompanies me on a daily basis, especially if I happen to sleep little, be tired or have a bad day. But I've learned to organize myself: I always try to arrive rested, focused and prepared; I read, I inform myself, I always study my speakers and their gestures, I try to make their messages my own, and to transfer them into the target language respecting intentions, emotions and moods.

What would you recommend to a young person who has chosen to pursue a career as an interpreter?

To carefully evaluate, as with any choice, the pros and cons. It is a job that requires commitment, patience and energy. An interpreter must know how to adapt to ever new situations, to different types of audience, without ever letting his guard down: a noisy audience, a speaker who speaks too quickly, an unexpected event can sometimes lead you to lose patience; in these cases you must be able to maintain calm and not lose concentration, in order not to risk compromising your performance.

In your career as an interpreter, have you ever found yourself in an uncomfortable situation, or in difficulty?

It happened to me, during a conference, that I had to translate the message of a speaker who kept using idiomatic expressions that were untranslatable in the target language. I then necessarily had to limit myself to transferring the general sense of what the speaker meant, but it was not easy. Here, among the qualities that an interpreter absolutely must possess, is a great capacity for improvisation and problem solving! 

Lasts the life of the interpreter! Do you plan on doing this for life?

As long as I have a voice for my speakers, why not?

If you are looking for an interpreter, Congressi Internazionali has been providing translation and interpreting services throughout the country and internationally for more than ten years, for different language combinations and different types of requests.

Our interpreters and translators are qualified professionals, members of the best-known national and international trade associations, with specific linguistic skills and many years of experience in translation and interpreting.

For your multilingual event, rely on the professionalism and experience in the field of Congressi Internazionali. The result is guaranteed, put us to the test!


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