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Translation AND interpreting?
Thread poster: Angela Dickson

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:30
French to English
+ ...
Aug 15, 2004

Does anyone out there do both? I had my first try at interpreting today (in a strictly 'practice' situation), was glad to have the opportunity and enjoyed it, but I can't help thinking that I would be better concentrating on my translation (which is what I am studying - as well as working full-time).

I may consider adding interpreting to my 'skill set' when I'm established in translation and when I have time, but for now, sticking to what I'm good at seems the best policy. Thoughts?

Angela


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David Lowery  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
The Best of Both Worlds Aug 15, 2004

I translate and interpret, and wouldn't have it any other way. I am extremely outgoing and a people-person so interpreting complements my personality, plus I thrive on that person-to-person contact that translation doesn't offer. Don't get me wrong ... I also love to translate. I enjoy taking a text, document, or whatever and having the finished product in my hand knowing that it exists because of my talents and hard work.

On the practical side, by offering both services it helps to ensure that there is always work!!


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:30
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interference Aug 15, 2004

David Lowery wrote:

I translate and interpret, and wouldn't have it any other way. I am extremely outgoing and a people-person so interpreting complements my personality, plus I thrive on that person-to-person contact that translation doesn't offer. Don't get me wrong ... I also love to translate. I enjoy taking a text, document, or whatever and having the finished product in my hand knowing that it exists because of my talents and hard work.

On the practical side, by offering both services it helps to ensure that there is always work!!


On first impressions, I felt that my translation training got in the way when I was trying to interpret simultaneously - I was too concerned with finding the 'right' way of putting over every point that I missed some points entirely! Of course, with practice I guess one could develop both skills.


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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:30
French to English
+ ...
Hi Angela Aug 15, 2004

I was lucky enough to do a degree in Interpreting and Translating at Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh, and I loved both sides. I now translate full-time, but interpret whenever I get the chance to. The main issue with interpreting is constantly working at it. It is a highly difficult skill to develop, (the whole concentrating, listening, mentally translating and speaking at the same time throws anyone when simultaneously interpreting for the first few dozen times, and the note-taking involved in consec can take a while to get under control!!), but it's an even more difficult skill to maintain!

My advice - and what I was told at uni by many professional interpreters - is to keep at it. Even when you're not working, there are always chances to keep your skill finely-tuned. I listen to French and Spanish radio and interpret simultaneously in my head, practice note-taking, and even interpret the news fron English into French and Spanish....it's become a tough habit to get out of (I found myself simultaneously interpreting a bit of I,Robot in the movies tonight and had to tell myself to stop!!!), but it is essential if you want to make it as an interpreter.

Not sure if other Prozians would agree, but I think it has really worked for me.

Good luck!!!!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
It´s a Natural Aug 16, 2004

I have always done both translating and interpreting right from the start, and without any formal training in either it was not easy, but experience is the best teacher.

Each activity takes special skills and a special type of personality but they can all be combined in one individual. Through the years I have found that many of my local colleagues prefer interpreting because translating requires so much concentration and isolation, not to mention that ¨curve¨ one has to go through gain enough productivity to make it worthwhile financially compared to an hourly rate for interpreting.

In doing both, you take advantage of the same foundation of knowledge and you use one to complement the other. For example, the fact that I have to have the right word on the tip of my tongue when doing simultaneous interpretation means I also have it at the tip of my fingers when translating. And when I have translated material similar to what is being discussed at a conference, the right words are there when I need them.

The visibility gained in conference situations is also a help in developing business, because one thing leads to another. For instance, since you did such a nice job interpreting for this conference, would you be willing to help us in translating some reports we have to do next month, or in preparing the written proceedings for this conference? Pass around a few cards...

Of course when I first started I did not know any better. I just assumed I had to do it all, so what I did not know I had to learn. Learning is power and it frees you from limitations.


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Melina Kajander
English to Finnish
I couldn't do both... Aug 16, 2004

I agree with you there, Angela:

Angela wrote:

- but for now, sticking to what I'm good at seems the best policy. Thoughts?

Angela


To me, it is a totally "different world" - even the thought of having to interpret (professionally) fills me with horror... (Especially simultaneous interpreting!!) I just know I couldn't do it... But then, like others have said above, it's entirely a matter of personality & way your mind works, etc. - what suits one does not suit another, and from other responses, it seems like it is possible for some to do both!


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IrinaGM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:30
English to Georgian
+ ...
I also do both... Aug 16, 2004

I started with translating and soon the company I worked with started to need more and more interpreting so I soon became both, translator and interpreter. It wasn't easy in the beginning and it took a lot of practice to get to where I am now. I have to say that you should do what works best for you. Translating and interpreting both require different kind of skills and personality and it's a constant learning process. I love translating because it allows me to work in peace and quiet, every time I translate I learn someting new and every time I am done with a project, it gives me a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. I love interpreting because it matches with my personality, I enjoy meeting people and all the interaction that goes on with interpreting. I start missing it if I don't do it for a while
Anyway, again, do what best works for you, whatever you're better at and whatever you like doing more. Good luck!


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Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Different skills, different feelings Aug 17, 2004

I do both translation and interpreting. You know, nobody told me that it was supposed to do one or the other, but not both.

Translation and interpreting demand each one different skills and abilities, but we can combine them and be good in both.

Let me give you an analogy. The translator is like an ASW (antisubmarine) pilot. He must be eager to fly slow and low during long hours, listening again and again for an enemy sub. The interpreter is the fighter pilot, ready to soar to the sky and dogfight at Mach-2, but his endurance can be measured in minutes instead of hours.

When I translate, I am that patient and slow pilot. My satisfaction comes from finding that hidden word and finishing the job. But when I interpret (specially in simultaneous), I got the "rush" of the dogfight. I even have a callsign!

Yes, I know, but what can I do, I love Tom Clancy

Regards

Edwal

[Edited at 2004-08-17 03:27]


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Conor McAuley  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:30
French to English
+ ...
Me too! Nov 4, 2004

I listen to French and Spanish radio and interpret simultaneously in my head

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

I do that too! It's murder when you're trying to relax by watching a film in English with French subtitles. Great training though, and great fun when the f word is translated into French as "mince" or "zut alors"!!!


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NataliaElo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:30
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Mutually supportive activities Jan 9, 2005

Angela Dickson wrote:


Does anyone out there do both?
Angela


I did both while lived in Finland but now, due to the lack of Finns in need of Russian interpreter in Berlin, I do mostly translations. I have to admit that interpreting kept me alive, obviously I needed a shot of adrenalin from time to time.

I think that these two different areas support each other. Translating makes you take care of language, grammar, punctuation etc. Interpreting, on the other hand, makes you feel being useful for other people.

Natalia


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Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 11:30
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
how to start interpreting too Feb 15, 2005

I have been doing translation for 4 years, but have never done any formal interpreting (i.e. professional interpreting).
What are your advices - which is the best way to brush-up my interpreting skills?


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