Being a student in the Department of English Interpretation and Translation totally changed my understanding of interpretation and translation. Before, like everybody does, I considered interpretation and translation as a piece of cake. In my mind, all the interpreters and translators had to do was simply to exchange vocabularies and shuffle the sentence structures into those of another language. However, I realized how ignorant I was about this field. Different with my thoughts, there were so much steps and skills to learn in this department to produce good interpretation and translation. Also, I started to be charmed by the life as an interpreter. I realized there are so many things to be a good interpreter, but especially, language, background knowledge, and passion seems to be the key quality that interpreter needs to have.
First of all, fluency in languages is one of the most important aspects to become a qualified interpreter. Interpretation is basically the process, which enables the communication between people who speak different languages without any difficulties or awkwardness. Therefore, to provide natural and high-quality interpretation, language is the fundamental ability that interpreter should possess. Fortunately, what I can enjoy and fully commit myself to is learning and being good in language. As a native Korean, I don't feel any difficulty with communicating in Korean, which is considered as one of the hardest languages to learn. Also, I've been interested and learned English for a quite a long time, which helped me to not fear and feel much difficulties in using English.
Second, background knowledge plays very significant role in high-quality interpretation. As a non-expert in specific field, understanding everything in certain field is nearly impossible. However, interpreters should briefly but clearly understand about the field with proper background knowledge. It will provide a better chance for them to make better interpretation. When I was young, I was influenced by my parents who read newspapers every morning. Their habit became my habit and I read newspapers, too. It seemed to be nothing when I was young, but now I know that habit left me a lot of knowledge in various fields. I still have a lot that I don't know about, but I'm sure that I'm going to learn as time goes by.
Last but not least, I value the passion in me the most. People might wonder why, but it's because interpreting requires ceaseless passion in whole career. Language and background knowledge are something very forgettable. It takes us short to forget, but long to recover. To become a better interpreter, we have to endure and put a lot of time and effort to improve, which can't be done without a passion. I think I am very blessed person who is passionate in learning languages and various things. I am sure this passion will bring me a success as an interpreter someday.
In conclusion, a successful interpreter needs to be fluent in languages, have broad range of knowledge, and good passion within them. Luckily, I have those powers in me to become a competent interpreter. In the future, I would like to work hard on my studies and achieve my dream.