These days, there is intense debate about what abilities make a good interpreter. Some people think that a person who has a good command of a foreign language can easily be an interpreter, whereas others argue that fluency in a language does not necessary lead to high quality interpreting.
In my opinion, being fluent in a foreign language it is not enough to be a successful interpreter for a number of reasons. To start with, in addition to a perfect knowledge of a foreign language, the work of an interpreter requires a good memory and the ability to split an attention in order to concentrate on clients’ speech and to interpret it correctly. Furthermore, a professional interpreter should have a stress resistance and the capability to feel comfortable speaking in front of a large audience. If they are confident talking in public, they will be able to concentrate on their work without anxiety. In addition, they need to have a knowledge of relevant terminology in subject areas to translate their client’s speech accurately.
Nevertheless, some people think that a person who is fluent in a foreign language can easily work as an interpreter. If people have a wide vocabulary, they will be able to understand the words spoken and their meaning to avoid misunderstanding between their clients.
I cannot agree with this opinion because interpreters should not only be fluent in a language, but they also need to have a knowledge of using interpreting strategies. Interpreters have to anticipate what the speaker wants to say and generalize the ideas of their clients’ speech in order to translate the massage properly.
In conclusion, although a person who is fluent in a foreign language can become a talented interpreter, I still believe that interpreters should also have special traits, skills and abilities to be professionals.