Do you want to become a conference interpreter?
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT A CONFERENCE INTERPRETER DOES AND ABOVE ALL IF YOU CAN BECOME ONE? YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE!
Is work as a conference interpreter right for you? Do you know the right languages? Do you have the necessary skills? Is specific training necessary? These are just some of the questions anyone who wants to follow this path must ask. Below you will find out everything you wanted to know about the profession of conference interpreter and you never dared to ask ...
WHAT DOES A CONFERENCE INTERPRETER DO?
- Conference interpreters are professional language experts who make communication between people possible at multilingual events (conferences, negotiations, press conferences, seminars, television programmes, etc.), orally transferring the meaning of the speaker's message into another language for those listeners who otherwise would not understand it.
- Conference interpreters do not provide written translations.
- Conference interpreters do not repeat words parrot-fashion: they convert ideas expressed in one language (source language) to another language (target language).
- Conference interpreters interpret "consecutively" (when the speaker has finished speaking) or "simultaneously" (as a team of interpreters who work in soundproofed booths and interpret in real time while the audience in the conference room listens through headphones) ; they sometimes resort to "chuchotage" or "whispered" interpretation (where the interpreter is in the same room as the participants and whispers the translation in real time to a limited number of listeners).
WHICH ABILITIES ARE NEEDED?
LANGUAGE SKILLS ALONE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO WORK AS A CONFERENCE INTERPRETER. DO YOU HAVE EVERYTHING THAT'S NEEDED?
Concentration, quick thinking, mental flexibility and extensive general knowledge are essential, but the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (which often happen) is equally important!
WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?
An excellent knowledge of your working languages and relative cultures, accompanied by a perfect command of your native language are essential characteristics for every conference interpreter, together with a perfect command of your native language. Skills, however, are not limited to purely linguistic ability. You need much more, for example:
- listening and concentration skills
- a good memory
- speed of thought
- vast general culture
- analytical skills
- a pleasant voice to listen to
- ability to remain calm even under pressure
- demeanor required for work in front of a large audience (non-verbal attitude)
- maintaining professional confidentiality.
The desire to travel is definitely a plus, as interpreters spend a large part of their professional life away from home.
Since, however, the quality of an interpreter is equal to their preparation, the possession of the above mentioned requirements is not sufficient if rigorous study and targeted and constant application are lacking. Adequate training is therefore required at one of the universities in Italy or abroad that offer a master's degree in interpretation.
Where can I train as an interpreter?
What type of course do I need?
Photo Credits: EP