If you’ve read my About the Blogger page, then you know I’m currently doing a Masters in Interpreting Studies (or M. Interp) for short. The decision came after a lecturer talked me into it, and now I’m very happy in the course! It’s been two weeks of very intense stuff, but it’s been pretty rewarding so far. I can already see improvements in my memory and use of language, and even in my posture (you wouldn’t believe how important posture is when you’re an interpreter). For those of you who understand interpreting jargon, I’m only trained in Consecutive Interpreting, No Notes at the moment, but we start Note Taking soon enough.

So what exactly is interpreting, and what does the course entail?

Interpreting is the practice of translating, through immediate speech, what one person has said from one language into another. Interpreters are particularly useful in conferences and interviews. Here in Europe, an interpreter’s best chance for work is the infamous European Union.

A bit about the EU while we’re here: the EU has 28 member states (27, as soon as Article 50 is put into motion, meaning the United Kingdom is officially out). Though it has 28 member states, it has only 24 languages.

There are two kinds of interpreters, A-B interpreters, and A-CC interpreters. I’m training to be the former: an A-B interpreter is capable of translating from one language to another at the same capacity. These two languages for me are Maltese and English, which I can speak almost interchangeably.

A lot of people confuse us with Translators, so I’ve found two pictures online that I think are a pretty good guide to the difference between us and them (though we love the translators, we do ♥ their job makes our lives easier!)

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So what is the course like? Super intense.

Know that on any given day, I’ve given at least 3 speeches of around 3 minutes each, in two different languages. Speeches can range from anything between the morning’s news reports, to entire medical/agricultural/environmental/political discourse. We practice mainly without taking notes, relying completely on memory to reproduce everything we’ve just heard. We meet every day for at least 5 hours, making the progress staggeringly obvious and very rapid.

So far, the course has taught me a lot about myself as a professional – mainly that, while I do have a lot left to work on, I’m perfectly capable of adapting quickly to a situation. It’s also taught me that my Maltese might not be as up to scratch as I thought it was, but the improvements are already showing.

This week’s accomplishment: I gave an entire 3-minute speech in Maltese about neurology and the aging brain, terminology and all, without stumbling much. I’m very proud of myself.

Until next week!

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