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How Difficult Is It to Be an Interpreter?

Woman working on interpretation service

Why Being an Interpreter Is More Complicated Than You Think

The Akorbi team has already covered some of the unique challenges of transcription and translation services, but what about actually being an interpreter? Isn’t being an interpreter the same as providing translation? Not quite. There are some subtle — and not-so-subtle — differences when it comes to acting as an interpreter. Akorbi has experience in providing services worldwide, and we like to use our blog to educate you about our services, how they work, and how they can help your business. Read on to find out more.

Education and Experience

Education is a big part of becoming an interpreter. For interpreters working for major organizations, such as the United Nations, the ability to speak multiple languages is obviously a must. You also need to demonstrate an ability to switch quickly and accurate between multiple languages without losing or misinterpreting information. While a degree isn’t necessarily required, as with any translation services, it’s generally preferred by most employers, along with voluntary certifications.

It’s Not Just About Words

Being an interpreter is more than just being able to speak another language. It means being able to properly understand and convey meaning in a conversation or exchange between two or more people. As mentioned above, this is something that has to be done quickly, and with multiple languages in some situations.

Relating and Communicating with Others

It’s also not enough to simply translate in a flat, monotone voice. Interpreting language is about meaning and intent, and your delivery needs to reflect what is being translated. Accuracy isn’t enough, you also need to engage with the person you’re interpreting to.

For someone providing interpretation services at a large event or conference, it’s important to remember how exhausting many of these events are for the guests. Failing to provide a lively, engaging translation risks them simply tuning out.

The Importance of Professionalism

In providing interpretation services, being professional is absolutely essential. Being able to understand and convey dialogue in a different language is one thing, but being able to do it calmly and professionally in a high-stress environment is entirely something else.

This professionalism extends beyond speaking languages and remaining collected in high-stress situations. It also involves preparation for the job. For example, an interpreter taking part in a conference needs to research the topics, people involved, the location, the languages and countries of origin of the guests and so on. The amount of work even before you start work is considerable and takes discipline to undertake properly.

Need an Interpreter?

If you’re in need of interpreter services, get in touch with Akorbi. Our team has extensive experience providing services all over the world, and we’ll tailor our service to suit your needs. Whether you need learning services, technical and multilingual staffing, remote video solutions, multilingual call centers or translation, we can help.     

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