Библиографическое описание:

Кобзева Н. А. A Few Words about Obstacles and Issues of Simultaneous Translation // Молодой ученый. — 2011. — №4. Т.1. — С. 225-226.

Without knowing the force of words,

it is impossible to know men.


It is widely known that there are two types of translation: written and oral. As it is quite clear from the name, in written translation the source and the target texts are in written form. In oral translation or interpretation the interpreter listens to the oral speech and translates it as an oral message.

There exists consecutive and simultaneous oral translation. In consecutive translation the translating starts after the original speech has been completed. Consecutive translation implies that the interpreter listens to long speeches, might take notes, and then produces the message. In simultaneous translation the interpreter is supposed to give his translation while the speaker is uttering his message, keep pace with the speakers, understand all kinds of foreign accents and defective pronunciation. Simultaneous translation is broadly used at business issues solutions and diverse meetings.

If you don’t know a foreign language but want to communicate your message clearly and accurately, you need the service of an interpreter to achieve your objectives. Thus a skilled and experienced interpreter is indispensable when you need to make international communication possible at scientific conferences, meetings, seminars and other venues.

Undoubtedly, simultaneous interpretation is a demanding craft requiring enormous concentration, excellent language and culture knowledge. To ensure the success of translation an interpreter needs practice, theoretical and practical knowledge, skills, techniques and proper strategies.

While translating an interpreter might encounter with various hardships. There are some difficulties examples that might occur in law and legal translation:

  • phrasal verbs:

    • back down on (make concessions);

    • fudge on (dodge the question);

    • happen on (run across);

    • make it up (come to an agreement);

    • pin smb. down (catch smb. in a word);

    • talk around (persuade);

    • trip up (confuse);

    • stand up for (take smb’s part);

    • hunt up (find out);

    • lead smb. on (pull smb’s leg);

    • face up to (face the truth);

    • go through with (complete).

      • idioms:

    • do somebody a good turn (help smb.);

    • be a mixed blessing (have pros and cons);

    • not put a foot wrong (behave properly);

    • strike home (hit the mark);

    • the net result (final result);

    • assemble a case (against someone) (gather the evidence needed to make a legal case against someone);

    • by the book (following all the rules when you do something);

    • circumstantial evidence (indirect evidence);

    • common law (the law that is not written in statutes but is based on custom and court decisions of the past (most often with its origin in the old unwritten laws of England);

    • conclusive evidence (evidence that is so strong that it proves the point in question beyond a reasonable doubt);

    • turn a blind eye to (someone or something) (to pretend not to see someone who is doing something wrong, to pretend not to see something that may be troublesome);

    • take the law into one's own hands (to try to administer the law on your own);

      • slang:

        • Bait (UK. a term meaning the police or doing something that will get you caught);

        • Constable (a policeman in the United Kingdom and many other Commonwealth countries);

        • Crackers (a slang term for the police in Florida especially in south Florida);

        • Hi-Po (American abbreviated slang referring to the Highway Patrol);

        • Mounties (Canada, colloquial, Royal Canadian Mounted Police);

        • Night Jack (English police slang for a detective working night shift. Jack referring to the detective);

        • Plastics (colloquial term used by Australian state police to refer to the Australian Federal Police) [1].

  • lack of common background information;

  • the concept expressed by the source language word does not exist in the target language.

There are main devices that are used in the work of a simultaneous translation. They are:

    • speech compression (when there are repetitions, words of little importance or when the speaker is too fast);

    • omission and addition of the material (to keep pace with the speaker an interpreter uses compressed lexical and syntactical equivalents).

In view of the aforesaid we may note that an interpreter shouldn’t be limited with linguistic knowledge. He must study different spheres of human life in the country of the source language: its history, literature, psychology, culture, traditions, customs, music, behaviour, mentality, etc.; practice translation techniques; learn the professional aspects of translation such as working under time pressure, stress toleration, contact with clients, etc. Only this way there appears a possibility for qualitative translation.


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org


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