If you have read my About page, you know now that I work as a freelance translator. It’s a job that I love and, on top of that, pays all the bills. What else can you ask for? I get to read books before they get published in my country, and that’s a great thing too.
What not everybody know is that we translators also get our special day to celebrate. After all, our work is a very important one. Don’t you think? Oh, how you ask? Well, let me count the ways…
In our profession, we divide between translators and interpreters, and we are all important in our own way. Without translators, you wouldn’t be able to read your favorite books written by authors whose mother tongue is different to yours. Also, translators are the ones in charge of creating the subtitles we all love to use when watching shows or movies. And we have been essential during this year we are being forced to endure. How so? Well, this pandemia has forced scientists and professionals in the medical field to create articles, leaflets, and all kinds of literature in order to inform the population about what was going on with this horrible Covid-19. Well, translators from all over the world were the ones in charge of making sure that all that literature was available in every possible language, so the information could reach the highest number of people as possible.
Now about interpreters. Imagine you are traveling around a foreign country and you have some sort of problem involving bureaucracy or police, an interpreter would be most handy to help you in your predicament. Interpreters are essential at congresses, international meetings, political summits, and any other situation that involves a gathering of people from different countries with no common language.
I will tell you an anecdote that involved an interpreter. When I was living in London, back in 2005, I went to Covent Garden with a friend on a lovely Sunday. We were watching the street performers among a crowd, when suddenly my friend grabbed my arm and urged me to leave. She said a guy had been touching her in an offensive way and she wanted to go home. We were leaving when we got approached by a tall man who looked like a tourist. He showed us a badge and told us he was a policeman, working incognito because they got informed about a man who had been molesting women in the area. He told us he saw my friend’s reaction and wanted to know whether we had had an encounter with that man. My friend tried to tell him, but her English wasn’t very good at that time, so the police officer asked us to go to the police station, where they could get her an interpreter. And that’s how my friend could tell about her experience, file a complaint, and they finally caught the guy.
See? I told you. Interpreters offer an invaluable service. And we translators too. I feel proud of what I do for a living, and I’m glad we have a day when our hard work is acknowledged.
If you want to know more about my job as a translator, just hit those comments!