Interpreters do an amazing job of translating oral messages on the fly. In passing, people may think interpretation is fairly easy as long as the interpreter is fluent in both languages. But it’s not good enough to speak each language at an adept level. Interpreters must understand the culture, familiarize themselves with idioms, deliver matching emotion, and so much more. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges interpreters must tackle on the fly while doing their jobs.

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Everyone has met people who seem to have a natural gift for telling stories and making people laugh. Turns out there’s a lot that goes into delivering the perfect punchline – buildup, inflection, and timing are just some of the components. Now imagine trying to get all of these correct while having to translate the language of the joke being told. Inflections and timing can have significantly different meanings in different languages.

Translating idioms

Idioms seldom make sense in different languages. In fact, sometimes idioms don’t even make sense within the same language in different parts of a country. Idioms are often born out of something that happened in the history of a culture or region. So when a speaker uses an idiom, the interpreter has to understand what it means and the nuances involved to accurately translate the message. This can be incredibly difficult when having to translate in real-time.

Misunderstanding the speaker

It’s easy to misunderstand someone speaking clearly in your native tongue. Imagine how easy it is to misunderstand someone speaking while simultaneously having to translate the message. In a perfect world, interpreters have a copy of the oral message ahead of time, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. When a misunderstanding does occur, the interpreter has to use the surrounding context to continue the natural flow of the message.

Public speaking

This one doesn’t exactly pertain to the translation of language, but it does come along with being human. Even if the interpreter is not the main focus of the speech, they still have to place themselves in front of a crowd and perform a difficult job. Having to execute complex translations in real-time can make the fear of speaking significantly worse. To put it simply, professional translators don’t have an easy job.

International Translating Company offers translation and interpretation services in more t han 230 languages. If you need assistance converting your business materials into another language, we’re here to help. Visit our website today. International Translating Company.