Interview with Andrey, Interpreter and Translator from English to Russian:
First things first, we would love to learn more about you: why and when did you decide to become a translator/interpreter? Where did the idea come from, and have you ever considered doing anything else?
Actually I did not have much choice; life itself showed me the right way. First I studied in an English-oriented school, the first Minsk “gymnasium”, after that I entered the Linguistic College, where the curriculum included some of the courses of the Minsk State Linguistic University and college students were allowed to start from the third year, missing the first two. Studying there was an immense experience – Minsk University is considered to be one of the best in the former USSR and the student life was real fun. However within the period of 1998-2002 the majority of my mates (as well as those from the school and college) emigrated abroad, as the knowledge of English was a great benefit for that, so the only thing I could do was to stay and support our national translation business. And I like my trade, especially oral interpreting (including simultaneous).
How different is being a translator/interpreter from what you had expected?
Actually I’ve never thought that an interpreter should also function as a driver, lawyer, animator and wine taster, at least down here in Belarus. J
What is, according to you, the best way to learn a foreign language? How did you learn your languages?
As far as I am concerned, I studied English in two English-oriented schools and in the university, and I believe that is the best way, if one has 15 years to spare. Teachers of English should probably know more about that :-).
What are the challenges of being a translator/interpreter? What are the perks?
Probably the main challenge of working freelance is a great deal of responsibility; however I’ve never had a problem with that. And all the other aspects are mainly benefits, primarily that I can acquire so much info from various spheres, which improves my general perception and comprehension of life as it is.
Thank you very much!