On Interpreting


(Posting on a piece of announcement; points to share; interpreting done by one NEB)

Based on our professional service of interpreting, we would like to share the following points on interpreting that may be beneficial to those who wish to join in this challenging undertaking:

1. Interpreting is spontaneous and improvised unlike translating, doing which you don’t have much time to prepare yourself with regards to language to produce, naturalness to show, content to interpret, confidence to demonstrate, etc.; what you say on the spot is the final product of your speaking to convey meaning.

2. Extensive reading (i.e., reading different kinds of texts on different kinds of subjects) helps enrich your repertoire of language style, vocabulary, sentence patterns, etc. that you may find handy later when you interpret.

3. Recording your practice of interpreting and analyzing it with regards to those aspects in no. 1 help improve your skills of interpreting. This practice is highly recommended.

4. You are most advantaged if you have an equally good language command of both the target and source language as in many cases you have to interpret both ways.

5. In many cases interpreting involves 4 parties: speaker, interpreter, audience, and stakeholder, i.e., the one that hires you to interpret. It is the stakeholder that you often have to impress as it is they who will decide whether or not to continue hiring you for the job. It is therefore important that you show them those aspects in no. 1 when interpreting for and on their behalf.

6. Whenever you have the chance, it is advisable that you approach the speaker way beforehand to ask him or her about the content of speech, length of speech, manner of speech, etc. Of utmost importance is the establishment of rapport (i.e., relationship) between you and the speaker as this will aid your naturalness and confidence when interpreting.

7. With regards to manner, you can ask the speaker if he or she would make his or her speech a sentence-by-sentence (simultaneous) interpreting or paragraph-by-paragraph (consecutive) interpreting. This will help you determine whether to have to take notes on important points while listening to him or her before interpreting.

8. In cases in which the speaker opts for a consecutive interpreting, it is imperative that you take notes on major points. When interpreting, your interpretation may differ with regards to number of sentences, sentence types, sentence patterns, choice of words, etc., which is natural and should not therefore be a source of too much caution and inconfidence. In final analysis, what matters most is the message to put across to your listening-to-understand audience.

9. While interpreting, when being faced with something unclear, you should allow yourself to ask your speaker for clarity or clarification on the spot employing an appropriate manner.

10. While interpreting, when having to add to or eliminate what the speaker has said due to inappropriateness or taboo, you should notify your audience and/or speaker about this.

For this service, contact Ferry: 0852 952 67657.

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