Exploring ties between Romani culture and the field of translation

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The professional interpreter

The profile of a professional interpreter encompasses many diverse skills and aptitudes. Like translators and terminologists, interpreters respond to a broad range of needs in a wide variety of settings. Historically, interpreting has occurred in business and commerce, diplomacy, military situations, courts, media, government, immigration services, international organizations, and educational and health care institutions. Interpreting ("oral translation") transpires in both spoken and signed languages. It is generally practiced either consecutively (after the source language is uttered) or simultaneously (as the source language is uttered). Another practice, "sight interpreting", requires the interpreter to translate a written text orally upon reading the text on sight. "Whispered interpreting" refers to when the interpreter translates in a low voice, in close proximity to one or two people.

Interpreting is a highly complex communicative activity. It requires excellent cognitive and information processing skills, memory, and superior linguistic capabilities in both the source and target languages. Interpreters often have only one opportunity to hear an utterance in one language and immediately, or simultaneously, reproduce it in another language. Equally important is the interpreter`s ability to understand non-verbal cues and culturally defined behavior, in order for the communication to fully succeed. The interpreter can be considered a mediator, in the sense that he or she "intervenes" in the interaction at hand exclusively so that communicative understanding between the parties can be achieved. At the same time, interpreters are cognizant of the fact that they represent others, i.e. the individuals and/or institutions for whom they work. Interpreting generally demands excellent skills in note-taking and mastery of specialized terminology, as well as cultural sensitivity and a professional concern for ethics.

Formal education and training programs exist primarily for conference interpreting. There is still a shortage of training programs and pedagogical manterials in many areas of the world for community interpreting. The earliest schools for interpreters emerged in Europe during the first half of the 20th c., in Mannheim, Heidelberg, Geneva and Vienna, and helped prepare interpreters for the Nuremburg Trials (1945-1946) and later the United Nations. Codes of ethics and professional standards have been established. and promoted, in particular by the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). Testing and certification exists in some countries and organizations, especially for legal and medical interpreting. Interpreters may work in-house, but most often provide services as independent contractors.


Angelelli, Claudia (2004), Medical Interpreting and cross-cultural communication, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

European Commission, Directorate-General Interpretation, "What is conference interpreting?". Available online in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Czech and other languages. See also "Interpreting for Europe...into English" on YouTube.

Gaiba, Francesca (1998), The Origins of Simultaneous Interpretation: The Nuremberg Trial, Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

Hale, Sandra Beatriz (2007), Community Interpreting, Hampshire / New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pöchhacker, Franz (2004), Introducing Interpreting Studies, London / New York: Routledge.

Russel, Debra and Sandra Hale (eds), Interpreting in Legal Settings, Studies in Interpretation Series, Washington D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 2008.

Translation Romani

Random Romani Word Other Romani Word
Mishto avilan (Kalderash)
I tute (Gurbeti)
Naj pe soste! (Lovari)
Kerel tuke sukar/latche (Xoraxane)
 You`re welcome (EN)  Bem vindo (PT)  Bienvenue (FR)  No hay de que (ES)  Bitteschön (DE)  Nincs mit (HU)  Prego (IT)  Rica ederim (TR)  Není zač (CS)

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