interpreting just into first language?
Thread poster: weecherry
weecherry
Local time: 16:52
German to English
Jan 15, 2007

Hi,
I'm new to this site, so I'm not sure if i am posting this into the right board :S, but I hope so...

I'm from Germany and I would like to study interpreting in the UK soon. I'm just wondering, because i might want to work in the UK later, and I don't know if thats possible as an interpreter. Do interpreters have to translate into their mother tongue?
Because then i couldn't work in the UK ?!
Well, I hope you can help me out :S

[Edited at 2007-01-15 17:16]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:52
Flemish to English
+ ...
A slight difference Jan 15, 2007

Interpreters don't translate, but interpret.
The mother-tongue/native language issue has been rehashed time and again on this forum.
Have a look at http://www.proz.com/topic/62666?start=0&float=
Although I don't agree with translation into the native language only, I tend to agree more with interpreting into the native language.
The reason being that you don't have any resources at your disposal. When you come under pressure, you tend to "forget" the foreign language.
On the other hand, being Belgian I don't have any troubles interpreting from French>Dutch and vice-versa.
Scic is the only market for interpreting into Dutch.
A narrow market niche indeed. Either you succeed their freelance tests and after a few years their open competition or you are out of work. Not taken into account the two or three offers outside SCIC, there is no market for interpreting from common languages such as English,French, German (or Spanish) into Dutch at all. The reason being that most Dutch speaking corporate officers know at least three foreign languages if not more. If there is a market for Russian, Japanese or Chinese into Dutch, I don't know.
That's why I would like to enhance my language register of English and French considerably by daily reading and give it a try at one of the better interpreter schools when I feel that I am ready for it.
I am of the opinion that after having enhanced your language register considerably and after thorough training, you can interpret into a language which is not your native.
After all, there is such a thing as retour-interpreting.
In your case, retour would mean from German>English.
It is none of my business, but in Germany there are quality interpreter schools too (Germersheim, Heidelberg) and interpreting pays well.
Why not stick to your country?


[Edited at 2007-01-15 18:22]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 09:52
English to Russian
+ ...
Let's keep in mind Jan 15, 2007

that in any real-life setting for consecutive interpretation "into one language only" arrangement is pretty much impossible.

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ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:52
German to English
+ ...
real life Jan 15, 2007

IreneN wrote:

in any real-life setting for consecutive interpretation "into one language only" arrangement is pretty much impossible.


The same holds true for many simultaneous jobs as well, in my experience.


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Kathi Stock  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:52
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Purpose of interpretation Jan 15, 2007

There is also a difference in regards to the purpose of the interpretation setting.
If you want to work as a conference interpreter....you will most likely work from your B-language into your A-language (your native language).
If you interpret at depositions, in court, at meetings, where the flow of conversation goes back and forth between the parties involved, then you would provide the interpretation from language A to language B and vice versa! Like Irene mentioned, any "one language direction only" would not work in such case.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Both Ways Jan 15, 2007

Irene, Norbert and Kathi have said it, in real life interpreting, whether simultaneous, consecutive, at conferences, in court situations or anywhere, you always have to go both ways...

...sometimes even at mid-sentence.


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Alejandra Villarroel  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 11:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
UN settings vs. the real world Jan 16, 2007

Norbert Gunther Kramer wrote:

IreneN wrote:

in any real-life setting for consecutive interpretation "into one language only" arrangement is pretty much impossible.


The same holds true for many simultaneous jobs as well, in my experience.


I agree with Norbert and IreneN...

At least where I live, the only place you will find two pairs of simultaneous interpreters each going only into their native language is at ECLAC.

The rest of the time when you are in the "real world", not only you have to interpret into a non-native language, but many times also from Portuguese or "Portuñol" as customers seem to think it is so similar to Spanish that anybody "should" be able to understand it.

Good luck in the UK!

ALEJANDRA



[Editado a las 2007-01-16 00:31]


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Jonathan Sanders  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:52
Extremely difficult, if not impossible Jan 16, 2007

In your profile you only list two languages (German and English), and in this case, you would have to work both simultaneously and consecutively in both directions (an A-B combination) just to get your degree. That is already hard enough, because people are particularly anal with German-English combinations. I've been told that many educated native-speakers are rejected at interpreting schools in Germany because their *German* is not good enough. And in London, people are going to be very demanding about having English which is very, well, English.

Furthermore, there are already quite a few top interpreters in London with exactly your language combination. Getting through the private market would take you a very long time. And I assume that like most of us, you also have bills to pay.

I would suggest court interpreting, but I would guess that most Germans in the UK speak English, and that there is not a whole lot of demand for court interpreters in German. If you had another two languages, I would say take the course and try to pass the test of a national or international organization to get experience. Unfortunately, those organizations will require you to have another language, and in the EU, probably two other languages. (And in that case, you would be working entirely towards German unless your English is practically native).

In short, I would say to either get at least two other languages if you want to get an interpreting degree if your main goal is to become an interpreter or to do something else entirely if your main goal is to work in the UK. There are probably lots of non-interpreting well-paying, permanent jobs for a qualified bilingual German-English speaker that are not nearly as hard to get into.

Take care,
Jonathan



[Edited at 2007-01-16 03:51]

[Edited at 2007-01-16 03:52]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:52
Flemish to English
+ ...
Earn while you learn. Jan 16, 2007

Interpreting requires a higher level of language domination than translation. The words, expressions have to be in your head and have to roll out like that. No time to think.
When I took part in the admission tests at ETI-where they are fond of proverbs-, there were 100 candidates divided over 6 languages. About 20 passed the written test and I guess about half passed the oral test, divided over the 6 languages of the school. Perhaps half of those obtained their degree.
In London (Westminster) 30 persons were admitted, 40% of them passed the first semester tests and you get one chance to pass the final exam 8 minutes of consecutive.
The training costs about £6500 + London living expenses. In other words, "the winner takes it all, the loser is standing small": If you pass your test, you don't loose about £ 12000. If you don't, it is a lot of time and money wasted.
Translation into those languages can be a good exercise to get there, which is why I am a staunch opponent of the native language only translation mantra. Earn while you learn.
If you want to get into interpreting, you need two foreign languages and start reading and assimilating everything about your working language(s) on a daily basis.


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xxxSigrlinn
Poland
Local time: 16:52
English to Russian
+ ...
common situation :) Feb 24, 2007

Well, I work sometimes as an interpreter from one foreign l-ge to another foreign one.
Is it difficult or queer? I don't think so.
Sometimes I had situations when I had to use all languages I knew "actively": Russian, French, Polish and English. It happened during international congresses, negotiations of several parties etc.

Everything depends on your personal abilities and so called language intuition. If you feel self-confident enough just try and probably you'll find that quite nice.
I interprete "automatically" to much extent, as I have a significant experience. The main point is not to confine yourself to some limits.
Just learn, train yourself, and risk later-on.


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weecherry
Local time: 16:52
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
thx Mar 12, 2007

oki, thank you very much for your answers...

I dont just have english and german, but also swedish and french (and latin, well...:)).
I just didnt add them to ma profil...
The reason why i wanna go to the uk (scotland) and dont wanna stay in germany is that i wanna meet new people, get more self-dependent (away from ma family) and experience new things...etc
thx, anyway


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