We all know the complicated task that a Chinese interpreter performs : he/she transmits a message from English to Chinese, for example, orally. However, few know what an interpreter does in a day’s work. Therefore, do not miss any detail of your day to day …

Days before the interpretation …

When an interpreter receives a call / e-mail to propose an interpretation, he must think whether to accept it or not, depending on the time available and his knowledge on the subject. If you decide to accept, this is what an interpreter’s day-to-day life would be like …

interpreter daily activities

An interpreter does not only work on the day of the interpretation: before interpreting, the interpreter receives the topic that will be discussed at the conference. When you know what the conference is going to be about, the interpreter should do the following:

  • Document on the subject
  • Searches of specific terminology
  • Make terminological glossaries
  • Study the subject in question
    (…)

You have to know everything about what you are going to talk about, both in one language and in another … Hard work, right? For all this, the interpreter works well in advance so that everything goes perfectly.

Day before the performance …

After all the way the interpreter has traveled (intense hours of study, terminology …), tomorrow is the great day. It is important to leave the last details, last preparations and rest ready to be active and very attentive to everything that is said in the conference .

Before interpreting …

The alarm sounds: Ring ! Time to get down to work … You have to be more than presentable for the interpretation. Remember that an interpreter works in front of the public, so having a good image is very important.

Normally, the interpreters are updated on the latest news because you never know if the speaker is going to comment on some news or breaking news that is closely related to the topic of the conference. Reading the newspaper, watching the news or listening to the radio in the morning is the interpreters’ daily bread before an interpretation.

Once you are prepared and have been informed about the breaking news, it is time to prepare and take everything you need.

Time to get to the place where the conference will take place. The interpreter must make sure not to get lost and, of course, arrive on time. Nobody likes being late for their work and, of course, neither does the interpreter.

When we arrive at the place where the conference is going to take place, it is time to greet the others and, next, the interpreters have to look for the interpretation booth and the technician. It is essential that you know how to handle the cabin where you are going to work and check that everything is working correctly.

Ready? Ready? Already!

Time to get down to work! But before beginning to interpret, the interpreter relaxes and concentrates … Concentration and tranquility are his best allies!

In the case of simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter listens to the speaker and interprets in the target language at the same time.

In the case of consecutive interpretation, the speaker starts speaking and the interpreter, from his work booth, listens to everything the speaker says without losing detail and taking notes to interpret later.

In the case of consecutive performances, the interpreters usually have a break before the performance to relax a bit, talk to the speaker, ask a question if necessary and prepare the interpretation. Finally, the interpreter must convey the speaker’s message to his or her interlocutors in a clear and error-free manner.

And you, how did you imagine the work of an interpreter?

You already know the hard and difficult work that the interpreters have to do. They are, without a doubt, true workers.


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