IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETING ARE EASY. AFTER ALL, YOU JUST NEED TO SPEAK A FOREIGN LANGUAGE. AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO BE CREATIVE, BECAUSE IT’S ALL ABOUT REWRITING THE SAME THING. IF YOU THINK SO, YOU CAN’T BE MORE WRONG.
All translators and interpreters had to go through (and still do) a long process of education in foreign languages. It often involves certification exams, staying abroad or an extra field of studies which determines what the interpreter will specialize in.
TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS ARE EXPERTS
Nowadays most people speak foreign languages. But those who master them at the top level are still very few. So it shouldn’t be surprising that a rare and valuable product is expensive. Translators and interpreters are experts too – language experts. And if they work with rare and/or exotic languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Korean, the cost is even higher. The same applies to sworn translators and interpreters.
Every assignment is always preceded by a preparation. Otherwise, the interpreter would risk a lot. Very often the preparation process takes much longer that the interpretation itself. Unfortunately, nobody thinks about it when hiring an interpreter.
It’s not enough to speak a foreign language in order to become an interpreter. Another important element is knowing the field. For instance, a person who speaks fluently a foreign language will fail at a medical or a scientific conference if he or she has no clue about the discipline. That’s why interpreters have to spend a lot of time expanding their knowledge in many different fields if they want to be good at their job.
TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS ARE FREELANCERS
A vast majority of translators and interpreters run their own businesses, which means that they have to earn the costs of it, in order to pay taxes, social and health insurance.