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can anybody be an INTERPRETER??????!!!!! :s
Thread poster: Jay
Jay
United States
Local time: 02:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 19, 2002

Hello all,

I just got to the US and I am looking for a job as a translator. Moreover, I have been offer to wwork as an interpreter. The problem is I have never interprete before!!!! but I feel bad rejecting all those jobs only because I have never done it. Do you think interpreters are born or they learn? Should I try??? or it is not etic to try something I don\'t really know if I am gonna be able to do well???...please tell something that can help to make a decision. I have interprete at uni...but that was not the real world...what can I do??? thank you.


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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 09:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
Tips Apr 19, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-19 15:55, BP wrote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just finished my studies of translation and interpretation. I am from Spain and I plan to live in the US. It is not being easy to get started above all as a freelancer. To many good people out there...or just with too much experience... any suggestions??? please??? I know I am good and I can prove it, but HOW???







Hello all,

I just got to the US and I am looking for a job as a translator. Moreover, I have been offer to wwork as an interpreter. The problem is I have never interprete before!!!! but I feel bad rejecting all those jobs only because I have never done it. Do you think interpreters are born or they learn? Should I try??? or it is not etic to try something I don\'t really know if I am gonna be able to do well???...please tell something that can help to make a decision. I have interprete at uni...but that was not the real world...what can I do??? thank you.





**************************************

You could start by paying more attention to your spelling. There are a few spelling mistakes in your postings (not typos). These postings are read by customers too with two oo\'s. You made a few mistakes with regard to the past tense.

****************************************

Interpreting is training: it consists of consecutive (take notes by using e.g. the system of Rozan) and simultaneous. You have to grasp the meaning of what is being said in one language and instantaneously transfer that into the target language without any hesitations and in a such voice that the listener of the target-language feels comfortable with. Although the tone of your voice has to mimic the feelings uttered by the speaker of one language in the other language, you may not get involved. The more you practise, the better you will get in. But some basic interpreter training is required.



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Ulrike Lieder  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
English to German
+ ...
Be very honest with yourself in assessing your abilities Apr 19, 2002

You say you feel bad rejecting \"all those offers\" - but how would you feel if someone were convicted and sent to jail because you mis-interpreted? (This is not as far-fetched as it might seem; a verdict was recently overturned -a case in Kentucky, if memory serves- because of incompetent interpreters.)



There are, of course, many types of interpreting - community, escort, medical, court, conference, etc., and the demands of each type are different. Still, as in translation, it is imperative that you render the message accurately. If you have any doubts as to your ability to do that, you should not accept the job. Most of my interpreting work takes place in conference settings (i.e. simultaneous), and it is my personal policy not to work with anyone whom I don\'t know professionally or who has not been recommended by a trusted colleague. It\'s no fun having to carry the entire booth because the other person can\'t hold up their end. (Been there, done that too many times, won\'t do it again.)



Knowledge of a foreign language does not automatically make you a good translator (as witnessed all too frequently by the questions seen in KudoZ). The same goes for interpreting. My feeling is that if you have to ask if anyone can be an interpreter, you might be wise not accepting the work.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-19 21:32 ]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 03:15
German to English
+ ...
Reply Apr 19, 2002

To williamson:



That was uncalled for: BP lists only one language pair (English > Spanish) and does not claim to work into English.



To Ulrike:



Fully agree.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-19 20:52 ]


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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:15
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Training is indispensable Apr 19, 2002

It is not a matter of ethics but rather of training. Knowledge of a language is really not enough to be an interpreter. You have to be trained to grasp the meaning of what you are hearing on the spot and be able to translate it in a matter of seconds into your own language. You must have the vocabulary on the tip of your tongue, because, of course, you cannot use a dictionary. You have to get training to develop your memory, to handle different accents, etc.



This is not meant to discourage you. Just to tell you that to reject interpreting assignments if you are not trained to be an interpreter is quite the right thing to do. If you are interested in this kind of job, go ahead; it is a fascinating, albeit stressful job. But don\'t try it without proper training. I have been witness to what happens when they use a complete amateur as an interpreter, and believe me, you can find yourself in the middle of very ugly situations.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-19 20:36 ]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 03:15
German to English
+ ...
Oh, boy! Apr 19, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-19 20:30, Beatriz2 wrote:

It is not a matter of ethics but rather of training. Knowledge of a language is really not enough to be an interpreter. You have to be trained to grasp the meaning of what you are hearing on the spot and be able to translate it in a matter of seconds into your own language. You need to have the vocabulary on the tip of your tongue, because, of course, you cannot use a dictionary. You have to get training to develop your memory, to handle different accents, etc.



This is not to discourage you. Just to tell you that to reject interpreting assignments if you are not trained to be an interpreter is quite the right thing to do. If you are interested in this kind of job, go ahead; it is a fascinating, albeit stressful job. But don\'t try it without proper training. I have been witness to what happens when they use a complete amateur as an interpreter, and believe me, you can find yourself in the middle of very ugly situations.





Training is a must? That dirty word \"training\"



Just kidding, you\'re 100% right!

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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Getting started in translation Apr 19, 2002

I have seen numerous postings for into Spanish translation, with the title junior translator. You need to search Monster and job sites for those jobs. If you have a green card, you should have no trouble finding a full-time job translating into Spanish.

Re Interpretation: If you haven\'t actually studied it, go easy. There are several places that give certificate courses in interpreting such as NYU in New York but there are others. Maybe that would be a good place to start. Also, when interpreting you need to be able to go in both directions (especially in consecutive). Good luck in your endeavors.


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Klaus Dorn
Local time: 11:15
German to English
+ ...
A good translator/interpreter - one who understands the culture Apr 19, 2002

While I fully agree with what my colleagues have written here, I\'d like to add one more point:



I feel it is essential to understand the culture of the country where the language in question originates from or is spoken as a first language. I remember speaking English quite well before I went to England, even teaching it in Germany to foreigners. But compared to the English I spoke two years after I came to England, it was nothing - it was a \"learnt\" language. The amount of idioms and phrases I learnt in a relatively short space of time was immense.



One has to remember, that English has a vocabulary of 600.000+ words and that per hour another 1.29 words are added. Of course, no one uses the entire vocabulary all the time (an average speaker probably uses 2000, 3000 at best), but I would like to tell you, that even after 15 years in England, I still learn plenty of new words and expressions (ProZ being a great source for this).



I am now accepted as an as-good-as-native speaker of English in both Italy and Turkey (where I work for language schools), meaning I have lost most of my accent and even my sentence structure only rarely tells a \"real\" native that I am not English.



My advice to you therefore is this: before trying to get any translation/interpretation assignments in the US itself, try to get some work on-line from countries where your level of English cannot be easily compared to a native speaker or suffices the level required.



Motto: \"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.\"



After getting into practise of the language (by having to speak/read it daily), take on assignments in the US.



Good luck!


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