NADINE HEGMANNS

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The greatest profession of all

I've often been asked what I actually do, whether interpreting could something for the daughter of a friend who had just spent a year abroad and was interested in languages, and when I graduated my English teacher was actually worried that I might be "too intelligent" to become "just" an interpreter and parrot someone else's words! Well, it is a fact that interpreting is one of the most strenuous and challenging professions in the world. It demands a lot of world and specialist knowledge (and it's a lot of fun, too!).

Reading Gabriele Klein's blog entry on translation inspired me to take a closer look at my profession as a conference interpreter. How do I help connect people of different parts of the world?

I make sure...

... an artist from abroad can give a radio interview in her mother tongue even though a German audience is listening.

... a politician can give a rousing speech without having to search for the right words in a foreign language.

... there are no communication problems at press events with international celebrities.

... everyone can speak their mind during works council meetings, regardless of the language they speak.

... my customers can present and sell their products to an international audience at trade fairs.

... novels can be discussed and read both in the original language and in the translated version at public readings.

... guests from abroad can follow a guided tour of the factory premises and understand how the machines work.

... NGOs can call attention to social injustice in the world and help young people in Germany become active themselves.

... customer events of global corporations are equipped with the necessary conference technology and enough interpreting teams to enable multilingual communication.

Interpreting is the greatest profession of all! Wouldn't you agree?