High-quality interpreting services do not happen by accident—such are merely the result of adhering to certain rules and measures of self-discipline—and, of course, meticulously honed skills and talent. Take care of the quality of your service in every job, and you don’t have to worry about creating a positive reputation—your highly satisfying professional performance will speak volumes about you and will precede you wherever you seek further job opportunities.
It is for the benefit of any professional who is keen on being able to provide interpreting services for the long term to continue improving their skills and knowledge. In the field of language translation and interpretation—whether you engage in it as an individual freelancer or as part of a large agency or organization—being stagnant spells your eventual doom and might wither away the professional contacts you had worked so hard to establish. To always stay on your toes, here are some no-nonsense reminders about staying sharp and ahead of the competition as a professional interpreter.
Interpreters, no matter what stripe or color, depend firstly on their oral communication skills. In providing good interpreting services, your voice (your tone, diction, pronunciation) plays a vital role in making a good impression on behalf of your client. You have to keep it neutral and calm. Not only that, but it is also important to observe the cultural peculiarities of the target language. For instance, raising your voice unnecessarily may be taken as offensive and might thereby negatively influence the negotiation. However, there are certain situations in which you may have to “reproduce” your client’s passionate way of speaking. Keep in mind, though, that you are treading on very thin ice here—do not take your client’s passion to extreme ends and thereby end up being rude or disrespectful. To be on the safe side, raise your voice like your client’s, but keep your own a few notches lower.
Every language has its own set of correct pronunciation rules and intonation. That is why it is usually very difficult to master several languages, each of which has its own oral demands. You cannot cover everything. At most, anyone that is competent enough to offer interpreting services would be good at two or four languages. There are those who gain expertise in more languages, but they are rare. Also, trying to master as many languages as possible (and here we speak of not only translating a…