The journey of learning more languages after mastering one is never easy, but it does come with great pride when you realize you can sit with top executives of multinational companies, top delegates of different countries, and billionaires to help them interpret what is being discussed at their meeting.
An interpreter is often viewed as a member of each meeting because once they step into that conference room, he becomes the link between members. The link cannot be removed because the meeting won’t progress without it neither can information be hidden from the link.
How To Become A Great Conference Interpreter
Becoming a great conference interpreter isn’t as easy as many think; I mean, we have seen people speak more than two languages fluently, but most of them learn the basics that can be used to communicate daily.
A great interpreter has to learn beyond what is taught in the classroom, and here are some tips to help you shape your career as an interpreter.
1. Study The Cultural Aspect
There is no form of respect you can give an individual greater than learning his culture. As mentioned earlier, there are lots of linguists around the world but a very small number of interpreters; why? This is so because not everyone goes beyond what is taught in the classroom.
Linguists just communicate with people they don’t interpret. Interpreters learn the language and the culture for effective interpretation. Imagine being in a conference and listeners feel offended by your choice of words; this means interpreting goes beyond word for word interpretation.
Also, when you take time to learn the cultural aspect of other languages, you establish your legacy as a great interpreter who values people’s feelings.
2. Learn To Communicate, Not Just Talk
There is a slight difference between communicating and talking; if you’re talking, there is a high probability that the listener doesn’t understand you, but if you are communicating, the listener will definitely understand all you say.
Talking involves uttering words that will be audible; it is more like you are speaking an alien language to the listener; they won’t understand a thing. But when you communicate, it means you’re speaking the recognized language which everyone understands.
Additionally, your audibility and speed also might affect your communication. You have to be audible enough, so listeners don’t have to strain your ears to hear you. Also, the speed also has to be minimal so listeners won’t misunderstand you.
3. Build Your Vocabulary
Building your vocabulary will help you choose from a wide range of words to express yourself, particularly if you’re translating official documents or web content that will be made available to a large number of people.
Learning never ends; if you are not learning the cultural meaning of words in other languages, you should be building your vocabulary in those languages. This will boost your confidence and put you on the A-list of interpreters in your country.
4. Learn To Use The Latest Technology
The impact of technology on the world is there for all to see. Irrespective of the sector you fall into, you have to learn how to use technology to aid your career growth.
Interpreting booths at conferences are in vogue, but not many interpreters are familiar with real-time interpretation using simultaneous interpretation equipment.
Simultaneous interpretation equipment consists of audio connections for the headset and microphone to facilitate real-time interpretation.
5. Gain Experience
It is evident that experience is the best teacher, and that hasn’t changed. To prove yourself to the world, you need to go out there and volunteer for NGOs, hospitals, or what have you to gain confidence and sharpen your interpretation skills.
Volunteer and test your skills by taking online courses to earn a proficiency certificate to boost your chances of getting a good offer.
Interpreters are more skilled than regular linguists; they have more opportunities even though most don’t know how to harness them because of a lack of exposure or experience.
Interpreting is a challenging career, but with due diligence and development, you can sit with top delegates from different countries and executives from multinational companies.
Lastly, interpretation, just like other occupations, has benefited from technology. The latest technology has made it available for interpreters to convert real-time messages to their listeners.