History of the profession
Professional interpreters have always played an important part in international relations. They have been around since time immemorial the history of the profession has been chronicled in a range of articles.
The History of Interpreting
Experienced conference interpreter and interpreter trainer Christine Adams is writing a series of articles on the history of interpreting. Entitled “Looking for Interpreter Zero”, it outlines the history of the profession by tracing individual interpreters who found their way onto the pages of history.
We would like to thank Christine Adams for allowing us to publish these articles about some of the earliest interpreters in Asia-Pacific:
- Looking for interpreter zero: Rodrigues Tçuzzu, a Jesuit interpreter in Japan
João Rodrigues lived in Japan from 1577 to 1610 where he took vows, learned Japanese, and interpreted for the Society in a land sceptical of foreigners.
- Looking for Interpreter Zero: Imperial Intermediaries
The quest for Interpreter Zero in modern times takes us to the Everest Expeditions of the 1920s and 1930s, and the remarkable interpreter Karma Paul.
- Looking for Interpreter Zero: Imperial Intermediaries II
The Schlagintweit brothers’ account of their expedition to the Indian subcontinent in the 1850s acknowledged the crucial role of their interpreters
- Looking for Interpreter Zero: Imperial Intermediaries III
Sir Thomas Roe and his interpreters at the multilingual Mughal court
The complete series of “Looking for Interpreter Zero” can be found here.
One Trial – Four Languages
Simultaneous interpreting as we know it today was first used at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals in 1945-46. To allow these legal proceedings to take place in four languages – English, French, German and Russian –a ground-breaking approach was adopted involving the virtually unknown technique of simultaneous interpreting.
You will find a wealth of information about the birth of a profession at Nuremberg and the pioneers of simultaneous interpreting at the One Trial – Four Languages website. This extensive project by the non-profit association “Conference Interpreting – Past, Present, Future” is promoted by AIIC and includes an exhibition and historical research.
History of AIIC
Learn more about the history of the conference interpreting profession and of AIIC!