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What does an Interpreter do?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered April 01 2022
Career Expert at Talent.com
Interpreters are communication and language experts who listen to and translate oral communications from one language to another. Interpreters usually specialize in two languages: their mother tongue and any other chosen language. They may also specialize in a third or fourth language, provided they possess high levels of fluency.

Interpreters focus not only on translating the words spoken but also on relaying the speaker's emotions, intentions, and tone. They may convey the message simultaneously with the speaker or following the initial speech. Some interpreters use specialized vocabulary depending on their work environment. For example, some interpreters specialize in the legal sector, while others primarily work in healthcare. 

Their services can be necessary at conferences, and other similar public events or televised events and shows broadcast internationally. In other words, their services are required whenever all attendees may not understand the spoken language. Interpreters may be self-employed or work for an agency that provides such services.

Average day of an Interpreter
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common responsibilities Interpreters have:
  • Convey a message initially expressed in one language into another, either at the same time as someone speaking or following the initial speech using special equipment (e.g., from a booth, using a microphone and earphones).
  • Do research before attending an event (e.g., conference, meeting, or speech) to be familiar with the subject matter and to anticipate the speaker’s sentences.
  • Be proficient in the use of complex terminology and technical language.
  • Listen, interpret, and speak while someone else is speaking, ensuring that the message relayed remains the same.
  • Maintain the same rhythm and intonation as the speaker to convey a message with the same intention.
  • Take notes so as not to miss any details during the speech.
  • Work with another Interpreter, taking turns to interpret.
  • Assist tourists and foreign visitors by accompanying them and serving as their personal Interpreters.
  • Provide translation services for the hearing-impaired using sign language.
  • Work as an Interpreter before a court of law when necessary by reading legal documents aloud in different languages or accurately translating spoken testimonies.