As the year comes to a close, we take a light-hearted look back at the times interpreters hit headlines in 2018. We hope these highlights give you an insight into a diverse and challenging profession.
Keeping it Klopp
Interpreting in front of an audience is daunting as interpreters must be able to listen closely and deliver what has been said accurately into another language, sometimes simultaneously. Their work often goes unnoticed but sometimes attracts unexpected attention, as in the case of an Italian football interpreter in April this year. During a press conference, Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp spoke for an extended period of time, during which his interpreter listened and made notes. He then successfully interpreted Klopp’s lengthy dialogue into Italian, earning the admiration of the audience, as well as an apology and a handshake from Klopp himself.
See the press conference here.
Making sense of Trump-Kim
Interpreters are often present for historic moments and the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was one such exceptional event in 2018. For high-level political meetings, interpreters may be given classified information to help them prepare, but they must rely on their own quick thinking to deal with the unexpected. Humour is especially difficult to communicate, especially when it incorporates cultural elements or idiomatic expressions. In this case, nobody knew what to expect from these two big personalities who had previously made insulting remarks about each other. The meeting was summed up best by Kim Jong Un – with the help of an interpreter – as he told Donald Trump that some people ‘will think of this as a scene from a fantasy … science-fiction movie’.
See the moment here.
This November, a BBC sign language interpreter went viral after she interpreted the latest Brexit coverage, perfectly capturing the nation’s mood with her facial expressions. In sign language, facial expressions, mouth shapes and body movements not only convey emotion and meaning, they also have grammatical functions. What appear to be small movements to a hearing audience actually serve a very precise purpose for those with hearing difficulties.
Watch the coverage here.
The whole team at Welcome Translation Experts would like to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year. We look forward to working with you in 2019!