Interpreters Who Helped Change The World Forever

What is Interpretation
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The world continues to survive thanks to the efforts of millions of people. There are those who are celebrated throughout the world. They are the ones whose names we learn in history books. Their impact on the world has surely been great, but they aren’t the only ones who managed to bring positive change to our lives. There are numerous unsung heroes in our history that no one ever talks about. The efforts of most of these people are only known to a small group. Even then, no one knows their names. They are remembered as a group that changed the world. Some people may praise interpreters from time to time, but no one remembers their names. When in truth, interpreters change the world every day.

What is Interpretation?

Despite the important role it plays in our lives, a lot of people won’t be able to give an accurate description of interpretation. For many of them, it is the same as translation. They think it is the act of translating a text. But in truth, the two are completely different branches of the language industry. Translators work with documents, but it isn’t as simple as that. They can take their time before getting back to the client with the results. They also get additional information from clients about a document.

Interpreters, on the other hand, have to get additional information from observing the speaker. They work in real-time. They can’t even take a few minutes to think about the interpretation. The moment someone starts speaking, the interpreter has to become alert and focus on not only every word but also every action of the speaker. Sometimes, they can receive additional information from the client, but even then, they have to focus more on the speech. They must also know how to observe body language and make it a part of the interpretation. A translator is removed from the situation they will be helping, but the interpreter is always in the middle of it.

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Interpreters Who Helped Change the World Forever:

There were various instances when linguistic experts helped the human race greatly. Even something as simple as helping the Allied forces communicate with the prisoners of war made a difference. Here are a few interpreters who helped change the world forever:

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  1. Sacagawea:

After the Louisiana Purchase, the US had to come up with a plan to explore the newly acquired territory. The resulting expedition that became known as Lewis and Clark expedition needed the help of the natives to do their job. They couldn’t have gotten help from the locals, discovered a huge portion of the land, and learned about natural history if it wasn’t for Sacagawea. She belonged to the Lemhi Shoshone tribe and traveled with the expedition for thousands of miles. She acted as the interpreter for Lewis and Clark when they had to communicate with the Shoshone tribe.

  1. Jack Jason:

Hollywood is known for its high standards. It also has almost impossible expectations from its performers. But sometimes, it does manage to do good things. For instance, it gave Marlee Matlin a career, despite her being legally deaf. Marlee Matlin is incredibly talented on screen. But off-screen, she needed help, and that’s exactly what Jack Jason offered her. Growing up with deaf parents, Jack Jason learned sign language pretty quickly. He has been an inspiration to both interpreters and aspiring actors who have a disability.

  1. Gaspar Antonio Chi:

Colonizers thought that they were doing the right thing by colonizing foreign land. The Spanish are known for colonizing Latin America. But in order to survive in the region, they needed to understand the natives. The only way they could do that was through the help of interpreters. Gaspar Antonio Chi was a Yucatan Indian who was hired by King Charles V of Spain as an interpreter. Chi used his position as an interpreter to the King to help the Mayan people. He freely expressed his opinions to the King. His reports to the King often pointed out the way colonization had affected the natives. Chi has taught interpreters that they have the power to help people.

  1. Valentin Berezhkov:

He was one of the most important political interpreters. His work also proved the importance of hiring linguistic experts for meetings between states. He attended various conferences during World War II as an interpreter for Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov. These conferences were attended by both Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Berezhkov was also the primary interpreter during the Tehran Conference when the Allies decided to launch their second phase of operations against Nazi Germany. Although he changed his profession later in his life and turned to journalism, that did not take away from the important work he did during World War II conferences. He also paved the way for future political interpreters.

Today, every industry relies on linguistic experts in one way or the other. But people forget that it was the hard work of the interpreters from history that showed the world the true importance of the profession. It is thanks to the hard work of those experts that people don’t shy away from getting linguistic assistance nowadays. Patients can discuss their problems with a foreign doctor easily with the help of an interpreter. Heads of states don’t have to worry about the linguistic barrier. They can discuss matters of the highest importance despite their language differences as long as there is an interpreter in the room to help them.

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