Tag Archives: translators’ health

Translator’s health continued

oral_translationWe’ve spoken about writing translators, now let’s move on to oral ones. Due to the particularities of their job, oral translators are free of many aforementioned problems, sedentary lifestyle isn’t their thing because they have to travel a lot; the “mouse syndrome” and all other radiculitis usually pass them by as well. However, instead of all that, an oral translator is under many other risks.

Due to a massive strain on the voice, it’s susceptible to laryngitis (sore throat) and sore voice chords (up to the point of voice loss), as a result of constant noise interruptions (for example, in cases of translation at an industrial site), hearing is also damaged, and due to physical and psychological strains, the entire organism is suffering. When working with delegations and other officials, one needs to drink quite often (this has been confirmed) which has a harmful influence on liver and kidneys. So the main advice for an oral translator is to: mind his throat (if anything’s even slightly wrong, stock up on soothers, steamers, hot tea with honey), to not get colds, look after themselves, and drink in moderation.

Interpreters are a whole different story. No other type of translator is strained physically and intellectually to this extent. When you remember the history of interpreting, you get goosebumps. Apparently, Soviet translators had to be taken away to the hospitals from the Nuremberg process (first case of massive international interpretation during the trial of Nazi elite in 1945): they had to work for several hours without a single break or shifts. Even nowadays, various mental health problems aren’t a rarity amongst interpreters even if the schedule is regular (the norm for such complex work is 3-4 hours a day). An interpreter has to be able to minimize the stress, stay calm in force majeure situations, and also always look after his or her mental state.

As a conclusion, I’d like to wish all colleagues all the health in the world, effectiveness and productivity, and longevity.