What makes a good interpreter? Someone with a mastery of the languages (and cultures) she is working with. Someone who goes behind the speaker's words to grasp their meaning and who is able to faithfully convey that meaning, not betraying the speaker. Someone who 'gets the message across', a message transformed into the idiom of the listener. Here in the heart of Europe we like to talk of an interpreter in the French sense of a 'performer', giving expression to the original text, making it come alive for the listener. That is how successful communication occurs. The interpreter 'becomes the speaker'. It's not just about reproducing words. Continue reading
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