Globibo Blog

Interpreting in Diplomatic Settings

A range of elements and factors are involved in diplomatic interpretation. Diplomatic settings include national institutions such as ministries, presidential offices, houses of parliament and international institutions like the UN and its agencies, the EU, WTO, NATO and so on. International and inter-regional military organizations also fall under its ambit.
An interpreter needs training in both liaison and conference interpretation to be able to work in diplomatic settings. He/she needs to have the knowledge and keep abreast of political, social and economic affairs around the world. Keeping oneself updated with international developments and being able to hold discussions about the issues in concern is important for a translator or interpreter working in any language mediation setting.
Good voice projection and modulation are keys skills in diplomatic interpretation as often microphones are not used. Also, whispered interpretation is a standard requirement.
The area of diplomatic interpretation/translation has its own set of rules and practices. The need for confidentiality prevents much to be known beforehand about projects. Diplomatic missions, embassies, and consulate do not often hire freelances, choosing instead the services of in-house staff interpreters. When freelancers are hired, they need to obtain prior clearance before they can get to work.
An interpreter is a critical link for communication in diplomatic settings, crossing cultural and language barriers.

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