Have you watched President Obama and President Hu Press Conference (2011, Jan 19) and listened to the interpreters’ English or Mandarin? I have and I feel embarrassed for some of the “professional” conference interpreters working that day.
You see, I think people working at that level (interpreting the words of presidents) should be the best qualified people available. Because misunderstanding can have immediate and sometimes serious consequences.
If you have some working understanding of English and Mandarin, you would have realized that some of the interpreters’ English and Mandarin just sounded horrible and almost laughable.
I don’t know the conference interpreters and the protocols (e.g. if both countries were responsible of hiring and providing their own conference interpreters). I just think some of the conference interpreters that day should feel seriously embarrassed. And they should take some refresher courses to greatly improve their English or Mandarin before they work again and commit any more mistakes.
I do wonder if all the conference interpreters that day were International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) members. If they were all registered members, then I have to question the AIIC admission standard.
Check out the press conference and see for yourself.
P.S. I hope I am not too harsh on the conference interpreters but I refuse to think they were the “best” available conference interpreters.
Feb 3, 2011 2:29pm MST Update: I guess a personal note may help here. I am a Canadian and am used to fluent translation between French and English. For example, I am listening to the English translation of “Meeting No. 54 INDU – Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology” right now. And the translated English is fluent and flawless!