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In praise of interpreters
Thread poster: Caryl Swift

Caryl Swift  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:09
Polish to English
+ ...
Apr 6, 2009

I just came across this article and readers' comments and thought I'd post here (hope it hasn't already been posted by someone else. If it has, my apologies).

http://tinyurl.com/d556bp

Happy reading!
Caryl


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:09
Member (2009)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Tribute Apr 6, 2009

Caryl Swift wrote:

I just came across this article and readers' comments and thought I'd post here (hope it hasn't already been posted by someone else. If it has, my apologies).

http://tinyurl.com/d556bp

Happy reading!
Caryl



He he, a nice tribute.

I can actually relate to this article, as I interpreted in precisely the same fields, namely politics, military and diplomacy.

Exactly: conferences, meetings, long dinners ( sometimes just chit-chatting about everything and anything ). And you must be focused 100 % in each moment picking everyone's thoughts, implications, tone and vibes in order to provide an accurate translation. And often they shift subjects pretty quickly so the interpreter has to be a mobile google search engine. One time I ended up with my boss ( officer) discussing theology with a local priest for 4 hours, and they went through many complex topics, the speech tempo was very fast, and I had to interpret the entire intense conversation, with my mouth drying out lol. But that's just one example, since I encountered many similar situations in my practice.



[Edited at 2009-04-07 01:29 GMT]


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 02:09
English to Russian
+ ...
Thanks, Caryl! Apr 7, 2009

There was something in that article that caught my eye:

"...only last week attempts to relieve the chill between Russia and the US almost foundered after Hillary Clinton's interpreter mistranslated her intention to "reset" relations into "overload""

Anybody knows what this is all about? I'm very curious...


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Mariella Bonelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:09
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thank you Caryl Apr 7, 2009

For me it is new and I liked it.

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xxxK. Ganly  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:09
French to English
+ ...
Nice Article Apr 7, 2009

Thank you! A nice little article.
In some fields, especially those that dont pay as well , like the NGO sector, good interpreters can be really hard to come by.
It makes such a difference working with properly trained and attentive interpreters- it turns something that can sometimes quite stumbling and awkward into a pleasant and fluid experience!


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Caryl Swift  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:09
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Re. Hillary Clinton Apr 7, 2009

Hi Alexandra,

It wasn't, I don't think, in fact an interpreter's mistake, but a translation error.

http://tinyurl.com/crz54w

I think, in fact, there was a thread on it here at the time.

Perhaps an interpreter should point that out in the readers' comments under the article?

All the best,
Caryl


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 02:09
English to Russian
+ ...
Thank you, Caryl! Apr 8, 2009

Caryl Swift wrote:

Hi Alexandra,

It wasn't, I don't think, in fact an interpreter's mistake, but a translation error.

http://tinyurl.com/crz54w

I think, in fact, there was a thread on it here at the time.

Perhaps an interpreter should point that out in the readers' comments under the article?

All the best,
Caryl


As to pointing that out in comments, I have long ago given up enlightening the general public on the difference between INTERPRETER and TRANSLATOR, as I have better things to do with my time than attempting the impossible.


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xxxIlary

Local time: 11:09
Thank you Caryl... Apr 10, 2009

...for sharing that article!

Some time ago I found a quotation here, and I think it goes well with the theme of this topic.

“What I very much admire in interpreters - speaking at a very general level now - is their unending curiosity, their boundless thirst for knowledge and the almost painful precision of their work, as it appears to the observer. But without a doubt all interpreters love talking. That certainly seems to me to be linked with the profession. Some of our interviewees have described this spontaneity of communication as a “déformation professionnelle”. That may be so. But quite frankly I find it very endearing.”

(David Bernet)


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~Ania~  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:09
Polish to English
+ ...
Thanks... Apr 11, 2009

Hi Caryl,

Thanks for sharing that article with us, I particularly enjoyed reading the readers' comments)

Regards

Anna


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