The role of a translator in diplomatic discussions

The role of a translator in diplomatic discussions

After the end of Second World War, maintaining ongoing communication and diplomatic relations for international peace and harmony became the order of the day. This further cemented after the ending of the cold war between U.S.A and Soviet Union. After the fall of Soviet Russia, the entire political equation changed. No country excelled in every field and Inter-dependence became the order of the day. During the last decade and half, diplomatic discussions, relations, agreements, treaties etc. have paved the way for strong, solid relations between various countries.


As economic exchange becomes a determining factor in global synergy, and supersedes military power, communication has become critical in forging and maintaining international relations. This is where translators and interpreters come into the picture. At any international level discussion, beaurocrats, interpreters and translators form the basic core team  which assists the country in arriving at fruitful negotiations, where the basic ground work is already done before the talks.


Except for translators and interpreters of both the countries, very few persons taking part in the discussions might be aware of the spoken language of both the sides and their written contexts. Here, a very vital role is played by the Translator. The Interpreter translates the spoken word, whereas the translator works on written language. Words expressed can be changed, meaning can be interpreted in different manners, but the translated word text remains the same with base and authority. Hence , Diplomatic Translators must have a vast wealth of knowledge and be familiar with international affairs and in particular with political, social and economic situation of their own as well as partner countries. Diplomatic translation is carried out within diplomatic discussions, Missions, Embassies or consulates. So, the translator has enough background when he attends the discussions, meetings at international levels.


Translators follow certain set of procedures in their work. They begin with reading the text, taking careful notes on what they do not understand. To translate questionable passages, they lookup words and terms in specialized dictionaries and glossaries. They may also do additional reading on the subject to arrive at a better understanding. Finally, they write translated drafts in the target language. After the completion of the draft, they generally review and scrutinize documents before finally submitting the same. Needless to say, if the world is shrinking, language experts, interpreters and translators have their share of credit in the same.

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