Interpreters are highly sought-after professionals who can serve in many industries. Interpreting is not easy and it is crucial to understand the exact parameters and nature of the assignment being worked on. Assignments will demand either simultaneous or consecutive interpreters and they require knowledge of the relevant subject matter and related technical terminology. Simultaneous interpreting is more than just repeating in a target language what was said in the source language. Simultaneous interpreting is arguably the most difficult and stressful because an interpreter has to listen to the source and at virtually the exact same time repeat what is being said in the target language. There is no “stop and rewind” when interpreting. Interpreters face many challenges and must be able to understand and adjust quickly to a speakers accent, culture, speed, and style. Often times, multiple interpreters are needed when working on a simultaneous interpretation projects.
Consecutive interpreting is different than simultaneous because the interpreter has a chance to listen and then speak. This may be done a sentence, a paragraph or more at a time. Interpreters here face the same challenges but have a little bit more time between listening and speaking. Simultaneous and consecutive interpreters must have the ability to use any pause between listening and speaking to condense and/ or verbally “edit” what was said without falling behind or omitting important information. Interpreting is a profession with a long and prestigious history most times associated with the United Nations. In six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) interpreters strive to create an authentic debate by rendering concise and clear reflections of what is being said to international delegates. At one point interpreters themselves were on the meeting floor with delegates. Today they sit in booths or work remotely using special earphone systems. Organizations like the United Nations are setting the precedent for multilingualism to become imperative. With the amount of diversity in business, society, economics, and government today – one cannot afford to be misunderstood or worse yet – to not be heard at all.