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Becoming an interpreter

March 11th, 2010

Several days ago I was contacted by a girl named Diana, who is studing to become an interpreter and translator. She asked me if I had a specific method of learning English and what I had done in order to become an interpreter. So instead of sending her back an email I decided to put my thoughts into an article, hoping that this might be somehow useful for other students.

So, Diana, here are my answers to your questions: first of all, I don’t have any specific methods of learning English, no secrets, trust me. But there are some things that I could recommend you.

Most important- read a lot. And not only in English. In order to become a really good interpreter, you should be in command of at least two languages: foreign and native one. So while studying English, don’t forget about Russian (or about Kazakh). You should be able of speaking very smoothly, without words such „well“, „errr..“, „you know.. “, you should know many synonyms, so if one word doesn’t come up easily to your mind, you have 3 or 5 others of the same meaning. Grammar and spelling should always be paid attention to, in both languages again. The easiest way, in my opinion, is to achieve it by reading. Read more »

Interpreter’s Ethics

February 11th, 2008

These are ten really useful rules that every interpreter should know.

Rule № 1
Not to spread any information which you possess. Watch out for notes that were taken while translating.

Rule № 2

It is advisable to set up very trusting relations with the principle (the person you are interpreting for). Keep in mind that “trusting relations” does not mean “friends”.

Rule № 3

It is necessary to keep patience even in extreme situations in order to be always polite and tactful. Be ready to face some difficulties.

Rule № 4

Not to add any information from yourself to the translation and not to miss any information while translation. Not to distort any information and not to express your own point of view.

Rule № 5

If it necessary to explain peculiarities of the national character, cuisine, mentality, culture known to an interpreter and unknown to a partner, an interpreter should increase the usage of communication and mutual understanding.

Rule  № 6

It is necessary to help those people who need help in any situation especially abroad even after work and without extra payment.

Rule № 7

Constantly improve your qualification, professional skills, to expand and deepen your erudition in different spheres of knowledge specializing in only one direction (law, finance, ecology and on).

Rule № 8

To share your knowledge and experience with younger and fresh interpreters or from time to time give some advice to students studying interpreting.

Rule № 9

To keep solidarity and professional ethics, to increase the prestige of the profession. Keep in touch with other interpreters.

Rule № 10

Having broken one of these rules shouldn’t be caught :)