Every child goes through that phase called: “what do I wanna be when I grow up?”. Every time someone asked me that question, I changed my answer: Veterinarian, dentist, doctor, I even once said I wanted to be a pop star like Britney Spears (back then I used to listen to her a lot). But now, I’d reply something entirely different. An Interpreter.
For those of you who may not know, an interpreter is someone who assists people in a conversation who don’t speak the same language and translates what the other person is saying at the same time this person is talking. The interpreter can translate at conferences, private meetings, trials and even at glamorous events like The Oscars. To make it clear, an interpreter is not a translator. The translator is the only who writes his translation, whereas the interpreter communicates it to the other person.
If I had to explain why I this is my dream job then I’d say this: Interpreters (and translators) constitute an important part of our culture. Not only they allow us to communicate to foreigners, they link us to different countries, different identities, different customs, different people. They’re like bridges through which we can walk safely and enter a diverse kingdom, dominated by new and unknown things.
Besides, I know that everyone says “I can translate/interpret” just by having knowledge of another language, but it’s not so easy. Interpreters have to pay extra attention to what a person is saying, process what he just said, re-think it in another language and transmit it to the other person. It’s a challenging mental process that has to be executed in at least two minutes. The answer has to come out quickly, otherwise the interpreter will have to ask his client to repeat what he said all over again. And that’s not a sign of a good interpreter.
Interpreters are my role model, simply because they create magic by saying a few words in another language.