Imagine you are a diplomatic agent sent on a specific mission from your country’s government abroad. In your hands lies the fate of what could end up being anything from a simple document signing to a deal that can shift the immediate future of your country and fellow people. Everything is looking in tip top shape to guarantee a successful venture but roadblock, the ever dreaded language barrier.
While proper preparation to ensure that everything works is of the utmost importance, the first matter of business and which holds the most importance is communication. How will you, a diplomatic agent representing your country, be able to communicate the message you were trusted to deliver to the best of your abilities and understanding to your counterparts who might not speak the same language? Cue in interpreting and translation service experts.
Diplomatic translators and interpreters have become key role players in the proper delivery of messages, they are a staple in negotiating tables, in political summits and all other events of grand magnitude. But what does it take to be a successful translator or interpreter for diplomatic affairs and why are they so important?
What Was Life Before Diplomatic Translators and Interpreters?
While diplomatic relations extend back to as far as the history of developed human civilization is traced, finding shortcuts to make communications easier between all parts wasn’t always as easy. Until the 17th century it was tradition for all documents to be exchanged between two or more countries to be written in the common language used in Europe at the time: Latin. The 18th century saw French take over Latin’s place as the most used language in diplomatic affairs. It wasn’t until the 20th century that English became the dominant language in diplomatic relations around the world. Of course by this time, countries around the world had the advantages of having scholars in languages to assist in the translation of official documents but there was still more road to be travelled.
As countries began insisting on the use of their own language in diplomatic communications the United Nations admitted five languages as the official communication idioms for diplomatic matters. Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish with Arabic being added later by informal agreement were all put to the front of the line in regards to official communications amongst countries.
As time has progressed minority groups in different countries have demanded their well-deserved rights for education, media reach and other services in their own local dialects, leading to a broadening of the importance of translation and interpretation services in day to day and diplomatic life. Now more than ever before professional translators and interpreters play a vital role in the way the world communicates.
This Is Not Only A Language Knowledge Job
To be a professional translator and interpreter for diplomatic affairs there’s a lot more that goes into it than being an expert in languages. At the end of the day this agent is as important as the diplomats who are bringing the messages themselves. As recounted by top State Department Head of Translations Joseph P. Mazza for The Moscow Times: “In diplomatic translations we deal first and foremost with a diplomatic note from one leader to another leader”. The importance of the tone in which the message is delivered can basically make or break communication efforts in a heartbeat. A professional translator or interpreter working with diplomatic missions needs to understand the importance of delivering a smooth, easy sounding and reading message. Be it a thank you note, a memorandum of understanding or a document stating differences in international stances, the last thing needed in the communication paths is unnecessary fillers.
As time goes by and humanity continues evolving so do the channels of proper and assertive communication. With technology now leading the way for easy and up to date message deliveries there is one thing that will not change for the foreseeable future, the importance of having a top notch translation or interpreting service in hand to ease up the transit and deliverance of messages, information and other matters. Thanks to technology, now being able to have first-hand, top translation and interpreting options is a heartbeat away, making everything that much easier for building strong, lasting relationships.