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INTERPRETING with a degree in TRANSLATION
Thread poster: potosi
potosi
United States
Aug 8, 2014

First of all, let me say that I know the skills required for translation and interpreting are VERY different. That is why I am going to pursue an MA in translation -- my personality and skills suit that profession better.

However, there is a part of me that is passionately interested in interpreting (and is very envious of you talented people who have the skills to make this your profession). I would love to one day be able to do some freelance interpreting, even if those occasions were rare.

So my question is, would my degree in translation (which I am getting either way to improve my translation career) possibly open up a path to some interpreting opportunities? Any words of advice on this subject?


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Chien Nguyen  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 06:43
Member (2014)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
yes you can (I am English - Vietnam interpreter/translator) Aug 8, 2014

Hi Potosi,
I think you can if you wish.
From my experience and observation, either translation or interpretation you need a lot of practice, so only training is not enough. But pls note that interpreting will require, as you say particular skill. Translator can be easier to growth thru jobs, practice. But interpreting requires more than that, both language mastery and fluent articulation are the two key success factors for interpreters too.

I have been doing as both interpreter and translator for Vietnam English pair for 10 years now. And still have to self practicing my interpreting by listening to tape, video clips and speak out in target language. This is to keep me in the pace and language/oral articulation skills.

I wish you all the best.
Chien Nguyen


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:43
Chinese to English
I don't think it will help much Aug 8, 2014

potosi wrote:

I would love to one day be able to do some freelance interpreting, even if those occasions were rare.

If you don't interpret often, you're not a professional interpreter. Interpreting is a skill which needs constant practice, and which you can lose if you don't do it often enough.

http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/271819-getting_into_translation_and_then_transferring_to_interpretation.html


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You Need Regular Practise Aug 8, 2014

Hello Potosi !!

If you seriously want to be an interpreter too.......

You Need Regular Practise,

As Phil Hand said "If you don't interpret often, you're not a professional interpreter". I am completely agree with him.


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SBlack
French to English
+ ...
Study interpreting Aug 8, 2014

While I can see someone having a knack for translation and working their way into the profession with a mentor, I don't see any way one could "get up to speed" on interpretation without prior training. You are thrown right in. Here's an experiment: try repeating a podcast in your own language word for word for five minutes. You'll soon see how much concentration is required, and you're not even using a second language yet!

So if you are interested in interpreting, study interpreting. If you like, you can Google universities with a combined course of study in both translation and interpretation. And I agree with Phil, you would have to focus on interpreting with the occasional translation, not vice versa.


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potosi
United States
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the link Aug 8, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

potosi wrote:

I would love to one day be able to do some freelance interpreting, even if those occasions were rare.

If you don't interpret often, you're not a professional interpreter. Interpreting is a skill which needs constant practice, and which you can lose if you don't do it often enough.

http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/271819-getting_into_translation_and_then_transferring_to_interpretation.html



I guess what I'm getting at is if there are other ways to interpreting than another MA. If I practiced and studied and perhaps got certified? I'm not looking to do UN stuff here, just the possibility of interpreting at some minor situations and events.


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Samah El Mahdy
Egypt
Local time: 01:43
Arabic to English
+ ...
You can do it Aug 8, 2014

I can tell that despite interpretation and translation require different skills. Yet a person can be both (I am). In the university we study translation for two years then we start with at-sight and accompanied with consecutive. Yet we never abandon written translation. Then two years studying simultaneous, consecutive and written translation. You know what! translation forms the necessary inevitable basis for interpretation. while interpreting everything goes quickly on the spot. You express the meaning in the first form that comes to your mind as you don't have time to contemplate the best vocab and the best structure. Being a good translator enriches your built-in lexicon and grammar. We are take translation as our record in live. Therefore we read and re-read the source text to make sure we fully understand. We get stuck with words and expressions that we feel for sure that there's a way of rendering them in the target language so search and research until knowing it. This hard course of knowledge of both source and target languages makes it easier for us not only to have permanently refreshed memory of vocab and structure but also to GET IT RIGHT. In my own case, (EnglishArabic), I can say that the good translator is known in his interpretation performance.
All what you need is to practice. you can start with at sight. That is, hold any document- you may stary with one you already have read before- start reading as if you are reading in the target language. Spend a couple of weeks doing so until you feel you can do it with any source text whether you have read before or not. Then start listening to slow-paced speech of any person. for the first time listen to it once and look up the words that may get you stuck with the text. Then replay it start taking note. not everything. just the things that will remind you of each sentence and devise your own symbol system as convenient to you. (there is a good document called seven principles of note taking; read it) after each four sentences start recording yourself but don't replay them until you finish the whole source text. Listen to yourself so that you can know if you have pronunciation or intonation problems (listening in itself is of paramount importance for fine-tuning your skills. when you feel good about both consecutive and at sight through your recordings of yourself. start doing consecutive with no notes for sometime. At this point you can start simultaneous. Believe me, if you have the individual skills needed (quick-wittedness and breath and mind control under stress) all the above, despite looking as a long journey, will be no only possible but also amusing.
I hope this helps. Good Luck


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:43
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
MA in Translation and Interpreting Aug 8, 2014

Have you already started your studies? If not, some institutions do offer an MA in both translation and interpreting - perhaps you might want to consider this option.

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potosi
United States
TOPIC STARTER
I have indeed been curious about programs that offer a combo of interpreting and translating. Aug 8, 2014

Helen Hagon wrote:

Have you already started your studies? If not, some institutions do offer an MA in both translation and interpreting - perhaps you might want to consider this option.


Surrey has a business translation with interpreting which is very interesting. Also, some places offer an intro to interpreting course which would be great.

My fear is that if I did a heavily mixed course -- or interpreting with intro to translating sort of thing -- I would totally regret the decision if the interpreting was super hard (and I've heard many people in interpreting courses do not pass the final exams).

Thanks for your comment


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potosi
United States
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Aug 8, 2014

Samah El Mahdy wrote:

I can tell that despite interpretation and translation require different skills. Yet a person can be both (I am). In the university we study translation for two years then we start with at-sight and accompanied with consecutive. Yet we never abandon written translation. Then two years studying simultaneous, consecutive and written translation. You know what! translation forms the necessary inevitable basis for interpretation. while interpreting everything goes quickly on the spot. You express the meaning in the first form that comes to your mind as you don't have time to contemplate the best vocab and the best structure. Being a good translator enriches your built-in lexicon and grammar. We are take translation as our record in live. Therefore we read and re-read the source text to make sure we fully understand. We get stuck with words and expressions that we feel for sure that there's a way of rendering them in the target language so search and research until knowing it. This hard course of knowledge of both source and target languages makes it easier for us not only to have permanently refreshed memory of vocab and structure but also to GET IT RIGHT. In my own case, (EnglishArabic), I can say that the good translator is known in his interpretation performance.
All what you need is to practice. you can start with at sight. That is, hold any document- you may stary with one you already have read before- start reading as if you are reading in the target language. Spend a couple of weeks doing so until you feel you can do it with any source text whether you have read before or not. Then start listening to slow-paced speech of any person. for the first time listen to it once and look up the words that may get you stuck with the text. Then replay it start taking note. not everything. just the things that will remind you of each sentence and devise your own symbol system as convenient to you. (there is a good document called seven principles of note taking; read it) after each four sentences start recording yourself but don't replay them until you finish the whole source text. Listen to yourself so that you can know if you have pronunciation or intonation problems (listening in itself is of paramount importance for fine-tuning your skills. when you feel good about both consecutive and at sight through your recordings of yourself. start doing consecutive with no notes for sometime. At this point you can start simultaneous. Believe me, if you have the individual skills needed (quick-wittedness and breath and mind control under stress) all the above, despite looking as a long journey, will be no only possible but also amusing.
I hope this helps. Good Luck


Thanks a lot for your tips can i ask what uni you study at?


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:43
Russian to English
+ ...
Hi. I think interpreting is like riding a bile-- Aug 8, 2014

once you master it, you cannot forget it, even if you don't do it for years. To get to that level is not that easy, though. It requires full fluency in two languages, certain public speech skills, good memory, concentration-- almost like a sniper, the ability not to panic and a lot of practice--first with a recording system and TV, let's say, or a radio. You can do it on your own--no classes are really required. Some may prefer to take classes, though.

It does not matter at all what kind of degree you have, if you are able to do the job correctly. Good luck.

[Edited at 2014-08-08 19:51 GMT]


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:43
Chinese to English
Where there's a will, there's a way Aug 9, 2014

potosi wrote:

I guess what I'm getting at is if there are other ways to interpreting than another MA. If I practiced and studied and perhaps got certified? I'm not looking to do UN stuff here, just the possibility of interpreting at some minor situations and events.

Sure. I wouldn't say a degree is the be-all and end-all. There are plenty of interpreting resources online, so practice a bit, see if you like it, and try to take it further with friends, practice buddies and structured learning materials. Be aware that there are two modes, consecutive and simultaneous. If you don't get formal training, your chances of becoming a simultaneous interpreter are extremely slim. But you should be able to to learn a lot of consecutive yourself.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
No study Aug 9, 2014

I do it all, translation and interpreting, both directions, with no studies in either. I learned both on my own. So if I could do it, so could you.

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The Misha
Local time: 19:43
Russian to English
+ ...
Back in the old times, there was no hand holding Aug 10, 2014

Henry Hinds wrote:

I do it all, translation and interpreting, both directions, with no studies in either. I learned both on my own. So if I could do it, so could you.


I don't think I am anywhere near Henry in terms of career length, but I am still old enough to be able to relate. Back in the old times, you just went out and did the job the best you could because for the most part there was no one better available anyway. That was how you learned too. There were no "translation studies," whatever those mean, not for most of us anyway. You studied your languages and figured out the rest by doing. After all, ours is a craft, and you learn that as you go along. Oh, those were the days...


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:43
Russian to English
+ ...
There were always language studies, Aug 10, 2014

and translation and interpreting were a part of language studies or applied linguistics. Some people may just not know about it. (I am referring to the 20th century, not before that).

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