• Yelena McCafferty

Christmas networking of interpreters in London

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

What a fantastic networking lunch we had with colleague interpreters in London in the run-up to this Christmas. With festivities in the air and the year drawing to a close, there was certainly plenty to talk about!

Interpreting and translation may be a very specialised profession, however, it opens doors to various areas where language specialists find themselves working. It all depends on where the demand is, of course. Some languages are required more in public services to help migrant population from other countries. Others are more oriented towards commercial and business markets. Some very common languages, such as Portuguese, can be in demand virtually everywhere: from employment disputes to high-profile conferences.

Conference interpreting is one question we talked about in more detail. Discussing different techniques led us to an interesting point of whether an interpreter is ever allowed to summarise rather than interpret conference speakers word-for-word. It’s certainly easier when you have a written speech in front you. The explanation is simple: the structure of written text is different from verbal impromptu speech, and it is packed with information, often of technical nature. On top of that, when we read, we usually speak faster, as we don’t have to spend time thinking through what we are about to say. What happens if an interpreter is not given the speeches prior to the speakers taking to the floor, are we allowed to summarise? A colleague who has started a full-time conference interpreting course this year shared the current approach with us.

And what kind of networking doesn’t involve just informal chatter over a glass or two? We had plenty of babble in English, Russian, Romanian, Lithuanian, Italian, Nepalese and Portuguese, to the enjoyment of all!

[Tip: Contact Yelena McCafferty if you need to book an interpreter and she will take on your assignment if you need a Russian specialist or she will refer you to colleagues working in other languages. Tel.: 0207 043 6940, email enquiry@talkrussian.com.]