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We live in an era of globalisation. International partnership is sharply on the increase, the constant exchange of information has become the guarantee of success in all branches of the economy – in machine building, marketing, computer technology and medicine, in the sphere of culture and art. Dozens of exhibitions, seminars, conferences, business meetings, negotiations and presentations are conducted with the participation of foreign guests. So the profession of interpreter remains quite essential and the demand for interpreters will only grow.
Having said this, many believe that anybody with a working grasp of a language can become an interpreter, this is not entirely the case. In fact this is not the case at all. Of course an interpreter must have an excellent command of the language but they also require many other professional skills. They need to be able to grasp and convey what is said, cutting out what is unimportant. They need to quickly take on board new terminology ‘on the hoof’, train their memory and constantly widen their general knowledge. They need to keep abreast of the news stories covered in the world’s media. It is recommended that they know the names of international organisations, capitals and countries, large organisations and the names of influential politicians and businessmen. Now, from many years of work we know that the interpreter starting up does not always have sufficient qualifications for the job. In the best cases this leads to awkward phrasing and clumsy translation, which although they do not distort the content of the text, they can leave an unsatisfactory impression. It is worse if the translator does not have the terminology in the particular area in which he is trying to work or makes obvious semantic or grammatical errors.
Furthermore, in these times, specialised computer technology plays more and more of an important role in the work of a translator. This particularly applies to the translation of printed texts. Of course we are not talking about ‘Computer translation’ here, the pearls of which often raise a smile (it’s true though that they can be useful if used properly). We are talking about those platforms for automating translation such as SDL, Trados, Wordfast, MemoQ, Transit and others. These tools (CAT –Computer Asssisted Translation) are already a trusty weapon in the arsenal of many practising translators, and their role in the future can only grow. If you plan on translating professionally and have not yet mastered these useful tools it is worth learning to use them straight away.
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