Interpreter is a person who helps to convert one spoken language into another language. An interpreter requires strong research and analytical skills, mental dexterity, and an exceptional memory. Interpreters not only assist to overcome the language barrier, but they also assist in many other areas such as organization, formulating strategies and advising on cross cultural differences.
There are two types of interpretations, one is simultaneous interpretation which requires interpreters to listen and speak at the same time. In this type of interpretation, the interpreter has a task of quickly understanding what one person is saying before immediately translating it to others. One of the key skill needed by the simultaneous interpreter is decisiveness. Other type is the consecutive interpretation, which begins only after the speaker has verbalized a group of words or sentences. Generally, consecutive interpretation is carried out in face to face meetings, speeches or court cases. In this type, speaker will usually stop at regular junctures, say every few sentences, and have the interpreter to translate, before proceeding. Key skill required by the interpreter in this type of interpretation is, the ability to remember what has been said. Interpreters work in real time situations and they will be in direct contact with the speaker and the listener. Interpreters also act as a facilitator between speaker and listener, both linguistically and diplomatically.
General skills required by an interpreter is that he must have sound knowledge of the general subject of the speeches that are to be interpreted, general erudition and intimate familiarity, extensive vocabulary and excellent note-taking technique for consecutive interpreting etc.