Skills needed by professional translators and conference interpreters

Ability to understand is essential for both translation and interpreting. You can't express the content of a speech or text clearly unless you have understood it in the first place. So translators and interpreters must have a thorough knowledge of the source language, a well-developed ability to analyse and some knowledge of the subject matter.

Translators' skills

Excellent drafting skills, in order to produce texts that don't «sound like translations».

Thoroughness and accuracy, so that they remain true to the sense of the original and all the information It contains. Specialised translation is impossible without terminological and documentary research and liaison with specialists in the field. Translators must have an enquiring mind, a desire to learn and a sense of initiative

Translators often have to work under pressure (for short deadlines) so they must be adaptable and well-organised.

Interpreters' skills

Conference interpreters must be effective communicators, at least as spellbinding as the speakers.

Conference interpreters must keep rigorously up to date with world affairs and the various areas in which they work. When the microphone is on, there is no time to look things up in dictionaries and encyclopedias: the interpreter has to be on the ball. Interpreters work without a safety net and must possess gifts of intuition and flexibility, with rapid reactions that enable them to tackle any subject by any speaker without being thrown.

Interpreters must possess diplomatic skills and be sensitive to the context and the situation in which an utterance is made if they are to communicate the speaker's intention correctly.

Aspetti fondamentali e qualità ...

good translation good interpretation

understanding of the original text
a high standard of analysis

understanding of the original speech
quality and speed of analysis

accuracy and faithfulness to the original

a high standard of research
a good written style

a high standard of advance preparation
a high standard of spoken language