I am an Interpreter


“Hi, I’m Satya, Nepali interpreter, from ___ (agency) for ___ am/pm appointment.”

This has become my regular introductory part every day since I became a freelancer. Having taken on different roles at different workplaces, I have seen and felt that my introduction and identity also has been taking a different form. There are places and people to whom I introduce myself as a pastor, husband, and father. For my livelihood, ​for now, freelance interpreter and translator have been roles that bring income.

I came to the conclusion that merely being able to speak English does not necessarily mean all can interpret. Only a few have that gift can interpret as accurately as possible.

I have been interpreting for churches, courts, hospitals, and schools since 2009. Interpreting a sermon simultaneously once a month in Nepali for the senior pastor in the church that I worked for 3 years proved to be very challenging. I was the primary benefactor beneficiary, as it honed my interpretation skill as well as fed my spiritual needs. I, however, am not negating that other Nepali-Speaking people who were attending church those days were not benefiting from my service. This opened my eyes and helped me to see this profession from whole new perspective. It debunked the myth that I had for so many years that anyone can be an interpreter. I came to the conclusion that merely being able to speak English does not necessarily mean all can interpret. Only a few have that gift thus, can interpret as accurately as possible.

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2 thoughts on “I am an Interpreter

  1. So true, Satya… being able to say things in a second language exactly as the person speaking meant them is a rare skill. I have heard many people translate, but few do it well. And especially in the ministry, translation skills are critical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would say the interpretation is even more challenging than translation. You get to think and choose right word while translating. Interpreters don’t have that luxury. It is instantaneous, as they have to say the things from the source language to the targeted language either simultaneously or consecutively depending on the nature of the work the person is doing. Thanks for reading my post.

      Like

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