Simultaneous Interpreting Takes Special Skills

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Simultaneous Interpreting Takes Special Skills

Simultaneous interpreter J.C. Bourque credits bilingualism in Canada's New Brunswick province for creating a wealth of opportunities for interpreting careers, both in New Brunswick and across the country. Simultaneous interpreters are used in multilingual legislative meetings and court proceedings. Being fluently bilingual may seem like the only requirement to becoming a simultaneous interpreter, but Bourque notes that interpreters also must be able to identify and interpret technical terms that are not used in everyday conversations. Although Bourque learned the trade on the job, he says anyone looking to become an interpreter today should have a university degree. Bourque honed his skills by reading the Moncton Daily Times and listening to the radio news simultaneously, then trying to recall what he read and heard later on. He says simultaneous interpreting requires quick thinking, an awareness of the topic at hand no matter what it is, a strong interest in current events, an excellent memory, patience, calmness, and diplomacy. The ongoing shortage of simultaneous interpreters means pay rates can be very competitive, and the work may include a lot of traveling and meeting interesting, influential people. Although many meetings are now held remotely, Bourque predicts that will only create more opportunities for simultaneous interpreters.

From "Simultaneous Interpretation Takes Special Skills"
New Brunswick Business Journal (Canada) (08/30/08) Foster, James

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - September 2008


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