An interpreter’s career is full of hard, sometimes challenging work. They must always get acquainted with the latest jargon in the target language, especially in the field of health care or the legal system.
Although what they learn during their university studies is completely different from the actual work as an interpreter for a company or corporation, there are some professional skills that they will acquire over the years.
The first one is impartiality or detached and non-emotional behavior during interpreting. The interpreter must be impartial during the dialogue between the two communicating parties. When working in a hospital or a court of law, the interpreter may be tempted to choose one party or to translate through their own emotional filter. Emotional detachment is a sign of professionalism for an interpreter and comes over time, together with the control over body language and tone of voice.
Another skill is mastering the technical jargon. If an interpreter works in the social services or political field, they will surely come across technical jargon.
One of the most important interpreter skills is teamwork, as it is a well-known fact that interpreters work in pairs during big summits. They must be familiar with each other’s style of speech and the terminology used in the respective field.
Apart from the above mentioned skills, adaptability is always a must in this field of activity. Whether the client shouts or whispers, interpreters must translate quickly, using the same detached tone. It is important to deduce even the finest shades of meaning from the context, in real time, without long pauses.
It is obvious that this job is mentally exhausting, but interpreters are satisfied that they are able to render the two parties’ messages successfully.