Saturday, November 21, 2009

Some Kind of Interpreter

As an interpreter, I participated in a conference yesterday that should be considered as an international event. As for my own performance, I think I deserve at least a “pass” evaluation. But what I saw in the interpretation booth was not all happy. Rather it was a frustrating experience from the point of view as someone who has worked as an interpreter though I am professional only in the sense that I have earned some money for this kind of service. Professional interpreters are those people on as par with the caliber of Yonehara Mari. My idea is that anyone who is unable to display her level of performance should not be called real professional. But people can try to be professional in a “professional way” to go a half step ahead even though the road is very long.
There are people who, with a surprising level of self-confidence, say, “I am an interpreter,” “I do translation,” etc. I have not done any statistical study, but my experience tells me that those people possess only a linguistic capability that allows them to exchange greetings and communicate some more because they have “been” overseas for some time or they have a degree in English literature, or some variety of these.
The “interpreter” I worked with yesterday belongs to this category. Unless she shows me a truly spectacular performance, this judgment will remain with me. What she said, when she said anything, was incoherent and sometimes totally wrong hampering the conversation or speeches that were going on the stage. There is no doubt that she is unqualified in a huge way to be called an interpreter. She is incompatible with this work. Probably, she should not be in this type of business at all as I see nothing to convince me that she has an attitude to try to be professional in a professional way. An interpreter who needs an interpreter...

I finished “発明マニア” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” a few days ago and started reading “The Language Instinct” today.

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