Our coffee talk this time is with our Spanish interpreter team, who shared their Behind-the-Scene stories as Spanish Interpreter in HK.
What It Takes to be a Spanish Interpreter
As it is widely spoken in different countries, the difference in culture and development makes Spanish have a lot of varieties, accents and speaking habits as well — some Spanish speaking countries speak in a faster and short sentences, while others use longer and more repetitive sentences.
As an interpreter, they would have to bridge this. In easing the process, they will try some ice breaker before a meeting, just to get used to clients’ accent and vocabularies. This also means, they will need to have a certain knowledge of the current affairs in each country to relate more to their clients.
Not only that. Spanish speakers are also usually more lively in their gestures, so this sensitivity to their culture also aid in interpreting process, because the other clients will know what are being translated. It will increase the trust, because the same gestures are being used to explain the meanings.
“So what’s the difference between an experienced interpreter with a rookie one?”
“Accumulated knowledge about a certain country, industry, and mental strength.”
More often than not, another type of knowledge is required when dealing with a specific industry. For example, wine industry in Spanish speaking countries. To have an accurate interpretation, it will involved a certain geographical knowledge (in Europe and South America), and familiarity with types of wine involved. In other industry, like jewelry, it will require an understanding of the gemstone names and its original country as well.
It also requires a mental strength, especially when dealing with uncertainties or lack of information. While preparation is important, sometimes there are always specific occasion that is more unexpected, like the attention coming from audience, or media, to every single word the interpreter is saying. This is another type of pressure that requires a certain stress management skill.
“Having gone through many experiences in interpreting, what do you think is your happiest take away?”
“There is a joy that comes from the long lasting friendship with clients that is built over the course of interpreting. And a chance to learn more about a certain industry, like my favorite wine!”
Sounds like a pretty good deal, and cheers to that!