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A great conference interpreter is one who can interpret and facilitate discussion in many different languages and can adapt to new situations. Many people think that being an interpreter means only knowing how to speak two or three languages. However, this is not true at all. You need to know how to read and write as well. There are many interpreters nowadays, but to become a great conference interpreter, you need some skills. Let's look.
Before we talk about the skills required to become a great conference interpreter, let’s talk about what is simultaneous interpretation equipment and how it helps us in building our career. Now let’s look at 5 tips for becoming a great conference interpreter and why our skills can be improved.
1. Ability to listen and communicate
Becoming a great conference interpreter does not mean just learning how to be a good speaker. It also requires having excellent listening and communicating skills. Listening and communicating are properties of good simultaneous interpretation equipment. Simultaneous interpretation equipment refers to any device that allows for the translation of spoken words into written text simultaneously with the speaker's speech. It does so by using special microphones which pick up the sound waves coming from the speakers. Now how do you use simultaneous interpretation equipment? Firstly, you must make sure that your interpreter booth is equipped with such equipment. Secondly, you need to set up the equipment properly. This includes setting up the microphone, connecting it to the computer, and making sure everything works fine. Thirdly, you need to learn how to operate the equipment. Lastly, you need to know when to switch between interpreting and writing.
If you listen carefully to what your clients say, you will be able to hear what they say and pick up on their emotions and feelings. This way, you won't miss any information. Also, if you have a strong background in psychology, then you will be able to help your clients by using some psychological techniques. Communicating with them helps you make sure that you get the message across correctly. In addition, you need to explain things clearly so that everyone understands what you mean.
2. Ability to be patient and work under pressure
When interpreting, you should always keep in mind that there are other people involved in the process. Hence the need for patience, Sometimes, the client may ask questions that you may not have thought about beforehand. This happens because the client wants to clarify certain points that he/she didn't mention earlier. When you are interpreting from one language into another, it may seem like you are doing something wrong, which might lead to you losing control and doubting yourself. As a good interpreter, you always have to remember that there is no perfect translation. Even though you may think you did something wrong, most likely, your client was right. Simultaneous interpretation makes you understand that the best way to deal with this situation is to keep calm and try to find out why they said what they said by listening.
3. Knowledge of the language and the audience
You should always learn more about the language you are interpreting. For example, if you are working in English, you should try to learn something about the culture of the country where you are working. Learning about the culture of the place where you are working can help you understand the people and the environment better. In addition, you should also learn about the audience to gain knowledge on how to use the appropriate words and sentences. For example, if your audience works in a business setting, you should know what type of words are frequently used by this set of people in conferences.
4. Ability to translate quickly
Simultaneous interpretation is very fast-paced, and sometimes you may feel like you cannot keep up with the pace. Therefore, you must be able to translate quickly. To do this, you should practice interpreting before an actual event. You should also practice translating between different languages. Practice makes perfect!
5. Have a clear mind
When translating between two languages, you should always keep yourself focused. This means that you should avoid distractions such as playing games etc. Because you are concentrating so hard on what you are doing, you should make sure that you do not get distracted. In addition, you should also make sure that you do your homework before each session. Doing your homework will give you a better understanding of the subject matter.
The most common mistake made by conference interpreters is that they don't know when to stop interpreting. They keep going on and on without stopping. This is very dangerous because if you keep going too long, then you might lose the attention of your client or colleague. You need to be able to identify your mistakes quickly, control yourself, and stop translating at the right time.
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