Before becoming a successful conference interpreter:
Successful conference interpreter – My name is Nontharot Kiatwisanchai or Naen. I have a Bachelor of Marketing Administration degree from the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy of Chulalongkorn University. In addition, I have a master’s in international business management from the University of Vaasa in Finland. I have been a professional translator and interpreter for seven years.
I am a Thai–English interpreter, both simultaneous and consecutive, for leading domestic and international companies. I do conference interpreting in various topics such as business, banking, laws, information technology, medicine, public health, and engineering. I have been entrusted to perform the interpreting for both private and public organizations.
Most impressive and successful project:
Actually, there are many projects that I am impressed. But the project that I was most impressed was when I was chosen to do the interpreting at a conference for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The event took place in Malaysia with the topic of cybercrime. At the event, ASEAN leaders attended the workshop in solving cybercrime problems together.
There were a number of challenging technical vocabularies in computer and cybercrime. I was lucky that I was well-prepared, and I did my homework. Therefore, I could translate and interpret the correct terms and facilitate the correct interpretation to the Thai representatives.
After the event, my work was appreciated by the representatives and as a result, it became a word of mouth from clients that lead to other clients. This made me a conference interpreter who earned millions of baht in the past years.
Become a successful conference interpreter:
Being a conference interpreter is not difficult. To become an interpreter who earns regular income and have regular gigs to become a full-time freelancer, I have to be well-prepared about the topics that I am going to do the interpreting for, do research, read news relating to the topics, and prepare vocabularies. Preparation helps facilitate my communication to be correct, confident, fluent, not stammering, and pleasant.
My work ethics:
My success requires these factors:
- Passion: I do believe that if you want to become successful, you need to be passionate about what you do.
- Eager to learn and never stop learning: An interpreter needs to be a responsible person with well-rounded knowledge. The information you get may help you a lot when interpreting. As an interpreter, having well-rounded knowledge will help you communicate effectively. Your audience will enjoy and be impressed by your performance because they understand what the speakers say at the conference through your interpreting. Therefore, you need to be hungry for knowledge and never stop improving your interpreting skills. Remind yourself all the time that you need to be a glass-half-empty person even though you already have extensive experience. Once you think that you are a genius and you have enough knowledge, this means you are starting to regress.
- Be prepared and well-rehearsed: This is important to all interpreters. You have to read what relates to the topics of the conference. You need to ask your clients to give you more information about what will be discussed at the conference. You need to be zealous and do more research for references, prepare and rehearse your interpreting. For many times, interpreters fail because they think they know it all and they are smart. But in the real situation, they may fail. Therefore, if you are well-prepared, you can do the interpreting fluently and confidently. And as a result, your audience will be impressed by your performance and your employers will hire you next time.
- Be proactive: To newbie interpreters, I would like to suggest that you should be energetic. Be energetic to work. Be energetic to build a network and build your profile.
- Be open: You have to be very open and listen to the recommendations of others. You have to be able to accept comments and feedback from others to improve yourself.
What does the interpreter community need?
I personally think that the interpreter community is friendly, and everyone helps each other. Everyone shares jobs. But there should be an opportunity to have interpreters be certified and build credibility in terms of standards. They need to be tested, regulated, registered and required to attend related courses and trainings that provide essential knowledge and meet standards.
Motto at work:
“Scratch my back and I will help scratch yours” is the proverb I always tell other interpreters. An interpreter needs collaboration with others such as clients, agencies, companies that offer equipment and technical support.
Therefore, being an interpreter requires working well with other people, you have to be a person who can easily adapt to different people, you have to be considerate, respectful, and you need to be ethical when working in the interpreter community.
No matter how talented you are, your interpreting career will not go on a rosy road if you do not have ethics. This community is not big. If you are a good interpreter, your work and performance will be known through word of mouth.
Please also follow my fan page here #ตามติดชีวิตล่ามด้วยนะคะ ที่เพจ www.facebook.com/onnitranslation
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