Video Fix: How interpreters juggle two languages at once?


According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, an interpreter is a person that interprets, one who translates orally for parties conversing in different languages, one who explains or expounds. Although this definition may sound clear and simple, the interpreting profession itself is far from being simple. Language evolves and this evolution also translates into additional complexity for professionals working with languages, such as interpreters.


Nuanced or new concepts, cultural differences and the personal expression preferences of each speaker are some of the communication issues an interpreter has to deal with in order to deliver a final acceptable speech. In the Video Fix of this week, Ewandro Magalhaes explains what are the skills and training  that interpreters need to overcome language barriers and avoid communication “catastrophes”.

Enjoy peeking into the world of a professional interpreter and discover how much hard work is needed for preparation. Learn about the importance of note-taking in this profession and how different it is from the traditional note-taking techniques we have in our minds. The illustrations used in the video also allow viewers to realise how having a wide general education background is a great asset for an interpreter, since no matter how much s/he prepares the surprise factor and other unexpected issues can always arise. Finally, the video also highlights how preparation strategies shift interpreters’ entire cognitive function in the end.

Enjoy the reading!

Written by  Katerina PalamiotiTranslator, Social Media and Content Manager, Communication Trainee and Foodie at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament.