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In 1956, during a diplomatic reception in Moscow,
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told Western Bloc ambassadors,
"My vas pokhoronim!"
His interpreter rendered that into English as,
"We will bury you!"
This statement sent shockwaves through the Western world,
heightening the tension between the Soviet Union and the US
who were in the thick of the Cold War.
Some believe this incident alone set East/West relations back a decade.
As it turns out, Khrushchev's remark was translated a bit too literally .
Given the context, his words should have been rendered as,
"We will live to see you buried,"
meaning that Communism would outlast Capitalism,
a less threatening comment.
Though the intended meaning was eventually clarified,
the initial impact of Khrushchev's apparent words
put the world on a path that could have led to nuclear armageddon.
So now, given the complexities of language and cultural exchange,
how does this sort of thing not happen all the time?
Much of the answer lies with the skill and training of interpreters
to overcome language barriers.
For most of history, interpretation was mainly done consecutively,
with speakers and interpreters making pauses to allow each other to speak.
But after the advent of radio technology,
a new simultaneous interpretations system was developed in the wake of World War II.
In the simultaneous mode
interpreters instantaneously translate a speaker's words into a microphone while he speaks.
interpreters instantaneously translate a speaker's words into a microphone while he speaks.
Without pauses, those in the audience can choose the language
in which they want to follow.
On the surface, it all looks seamless,
but behind the scenes,
human interpreters work incessantly
to ensure every idea gets across as intended.
And that is no easy task.
It takes about two years of training for already fluent bilingual professionals
to expand their vocabulary and master the skills necessary
to become a conference interpreter.
To get used to the unnatural task of speaking while they listen,
students shadow speakers
and repeat their every word exactly as heard in the same language.
In time, they begin to paraphrase what is said,
making stylistic adjustments as they go.
At some point, a second language is introduced.
Practicing in this way creates new neural pathways in the interpreter's brain,
and the constant effort of reformulation gradually becomes second nature.
Over time and through much hard work,
the interpreter masters a vast array of tricks to keep up with speed,
deal with challenging terminology,
and handle a multitude of foreign accents.
They may resort to acronyms to shorten long names,
choose generic terms over specific,
or refer to slides and other visual aides.
They can even leave a term in the original language,
while they search for the most accurate equivalent.
Interpreters are also skilled at keeping aplomb in the face of chaos.
Remember, they have no control over who is going to say what,
or how articulate the speaker will sound.
A curveball can be thrown at any time.
Also, they often perform to thousands of people
and in very intimidating settings,
like the UN General Assembly.
To keep their emotions in check,
they carefully prepare for an assignment,
building glossaries in advance,
reading voraciously about the subject matter,
and reviewing previous talks on the topic.
Finally, interpreters work in pairs.
While one colleague is busy translating incoming speeches in real time,
the other gives support by locating documents,
looking up words,
and tracking down pertinent information.
Because simultaneous interpretation requires intense concentration,
every 30 minutes, the pair switches roles.
Success is heavily dependent on skillful collaboration.
Language is complex,
and when abstract or nuanced concepts get lost in translation,
the consequences may be catastrophic.
As Margaret Atwood famously noted, "War is what happens when language fails."
Conference interpreters of all people are aware of that
and work diligently behind the scenes to make sure it never does.
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【TED-Ed】口譯:將兩種語言玩弄於股掌之間 (How interpreters juggle two languages at once - Ewandro Magalhaes)

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Kristi Yang 發佈於 2016 年 9 月 26 日    Kristi Yang 翻譯    Kristi Yang 審核

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前幾個月,蔡總統身邊的爆紅「口譯哥」不僅成為媒體寵兒,也讓人好奇「口譯員」到底是份怎麼樣的工作。今天,小編要帶著大家來認識口譯員,也順便看看口譯界的秘辛囉!

1reception0:09
reception 在這裡的意思是「正式的宴會」,相似的字詞還有 banquetfeast
There will be a reception for the new president.
將會有一場為新任總統所辦的宴會。

Our wedding reception will be on this Wednesday night.
我們的婚宴會在這星期三晚上。

The annual state banquet this year will be hold at the White House.
今年的國宴將在白宮舉辦。


此外, reception 還有另一個意思是「報到處」。
If you need anything, please ask at the reception desk.
如果你需要,麻煩去報到處詢問。


2render0:19
因為大多用於正式場合的關係,render 算是比較不常見的詞彙呦!在這裡,render 當作「動詞」使用,意思是「翻譯」。
It's difficult to render a Chinese novel into English.
要把中文小說翻成英文非常困難。


另外,「提供某種服務,或是幫助」也可以用 render
We are sincerely grateful to everyone who has rendered assistance to the victims of the earthquake.
我們誠摯地感謝每個對地震災民伸出援手的人。


3send shock waves through something0:25
這句片語十分有趣。簡單來說,就是「投下震撼彈」的意思。不過也隱含著:「讓許多人不開心」的涵義在。
The children's murder sent shock waves through the neighborhood.
這起孩童謀殺案在社區投下了震撼彈。

The assassination of the president sent shock waves through the world.
總統遭到暗殺的事件震驚了整個世界。


4literally0:43
literally 有許多種意思。在影片中的意思是:「字面上地」,也可以用於表示某個人的翻譯不太自然。
A good interpreter shouldn't just translate literally.
好的口譯員不該只按照字面翻譯。


另外, literally 也可以用於強調語氣,表示「簡直」,或是「確實」。
Now there are literally thousands of companies using our software.
現在,真的有幾千家公司在用我們的軟體呢!


*同場加映:
【TED】想做個社會運動參與者?從改變你的玩具開始 (McKenna Pope: Want to be an activist? Start with your toys)


看完影片,大家對口譯員是不是有更多的瞭解了呢?歡迎大家在下面跟小編分享看法呦!

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  1. UrbanDictionary 俚語字典整合查詢。一般字典查詢不到你滿意的解譯,不妨使用「俚語字典」,或許會讓你有滿意的答案喔