There's just no substitute for a love of language - and a commitment to continuous learning.

Post date: Feb 01, 2016 10:19:35 AM

I recently worked with a small team of interpreters in The Netherlands. Their love of language (and languages), and their commitment to continuously expanding their knowledge and skills, provided me with a useful nudge in the ribs. All translators and interpreters need to update their skills and knowledge every single day. There's quite simply no substitute for putting in the time, exposing oneself to the language, learning the words, and learning about relevant stuff. And it's much easier these days, too, what with that Internet and all.

I don't know if the members of the team with whom I worked are representative of Flemish interpreters (for that is what they are) - I suspect, given what I know about them, that they represent the top end of the market. However, the way they have trained their brains, so that they speak excellent English, backed up by a vast array of cultural knowledge, and are able to learn quickly when faced with new information, should serve as a template for all interpreters. I've always said that the best interpreters are fast learners. I have just been reminded that the best interpreters are lifelong learners, and language magpies too. Thanks, guys.