The interpreter’s significance in the european parliament
1 st year Master student, Simultaneous Interpretation
1 st year Master student, Simultaneous Interpretation
Four times a year, parliamentarians who speak German, French, Italian and Romansh gather in Bern for a regular parliamentary session. How do they find a common language? As one of the official simultaneous interpreters admits, it is quite difficult to find such a language, because it is necessary that each deputy fully understands what is happening. The work of an interpreter is associated with significant stress, but nothing can be done without it.
’S SIGNIFICANCE IN THE EUROPEAN
year Master student, Simultaneous Interpretation, Uzbekistan State World
About the work of a translator:
Four times a year, parliamentarians who
speak German, French, Italian and Romansh gather in Bern for a regular
parliamentary session. How do they find a common language? As one of the official
simultaneous interpreters admits, it is quite difficult to find such a language, because
it is necessary that each deputy fully understands what is happening. The work of an
interpreter is associated with significant stress, but nothing can be done without it.
“When I translated in Parliament for the first time, I was terribly nervous!” says Hans
JörimannExternal link, sitting in his booth overlooking the Swiss National
Council, the great chamber of parliament.
“I was stunned not so much by the
speeches made by the deputies as by the context and specific professional jargon. It
took me a long time to wade through this jungle of technical terms. But once you've
done that, you can focus on wh
o‘s talking and what. Once you understand how
everything works, it becomes much
The European Parliament is a unique legislative div, which probably has no
analogues in the world. Its unusualness lies in its multinationality and multilingualism.
Deputies from 28 countries speak 24 languages and are trying to find common
ground by adopting common laws. Macedonian Prime Minister Javier Solana said:
“One cannot do without interpreters in the EU. When first a Swede, then a
Portuguese, and then a Finn speaks in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the
deputies understand every word, although the speakers speak their native language.
More than thirty simultaneous interpreters translate each parliamentary session into
the 11 working languages currently used in the EU.
Official and working languages of the EU:
In 1958, the first Regulation came
out, designating the official languages of the EU. The first official and working
languages of the European Union were Dutch, French, German and Italian. As stated
on the website of the European Commission, there are two main characteristics of
languages that have the status of official and working:
– documents are sent to any EU institution in any of these languages; the
answer is also issued on any of them;
– EU regulations and other legislative acts, such as the Official Gazette, are
published in the official and working languages.
So, what about difficulties?
Simultaneous translation is certainly not for the
faint of heart.
“This is one of the most exhausting activities for the human brain,”
pointed out the famous translator David Bellos in his famous book Is That A Fish in
(“Do you have bananas in your ears?”). Many people compare the stress
level of simultaneous interpreters with the psychological overload of air traffic
controllers. Hans Martin Jorimann says that these are the moments when the speaker
decides to make a joke. Jokes are not funny. They are usually impossible to translate.
You have to rephrase, but then, of course, all the humor is lost. We also don't like it
when people use quotes. If you
’re not a genius, or you don't know these things by
heart, or you can
’t find the right passage on the Internet at the speed of light, you have
to say something like:
“Mr. X is quoting a fable”.
In response to a request to name
the golden rule of simultaneous translation, Hans Martin Jorimann says that the
personality of an interpreter must always take a step back.
“Don’t add your personal
views and emotions and distort the original version
”. This is not always possible. David
Bellos tells in his book that at the Nuremberg trials,
“the interpreter wept more than
once when hearing the testimony of Rudolf
Höss, deputy chief inspector of
concentration camps in the SS Main Administrative Office
But what about the future? Will computers replace synchronists? Translation
programs are improving every year, and speech recognition technologies have already
advanced frighteningly far. Most translators watch what
’s going on and think, “C’mon! It
will be another 20 years before computers can replace
us”. Maybe this is so. But
honestly, we don
’t know what’s going to happen. Either English will become the lingua
franca (which in any case will mean that we translators will be superfluous), or computer
technology will develop so much that it can actually completely replace us.
2. Alikina E.V. Consecutive interpreting: key aspects of theory and practice.
3. Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia [Electronic resource].
4. Baker, M. In other words:
а coursebook of translation. L., 1992.
Alikina E.V. Consecutive interpreting: key aspects of theory and practice. Perm,2008.
Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia [Electronic resource],
Baker, M. In other words: a coursebook of translation. L., 1992.