By bringing up this question here, I mean no offence for any CI tutors and graduates from regular CI training schools.
By "self-made", please allow me to define it based on my understanding. They are those who do not attend the regular conference interpreting training courses, but train oneself with guidance from academic studies/research/ and of seniors, facilitated with the vast internet resources.
"Self-made" CI is for sure a minority of conference interpreters community. As is known to everyone, it isn't an easy job for a junior interpreter to enter market, let alone the interpreters happen to be "self-made" ones, either out of choice, or forced to be.
The disadvantages of "self-made" interpreters are abvious, like, no peer recognition, less chances to be introduced to the market by tutors, no sufficient academic background to support(like Master of Interpretion & Translation, ect.). But if one is equipped with the basic capacity to perform the task, there must be one way out.
What's the possible solution? Any kind advice or such examples in real life? Thanks in advance.
Have there been people with no training who became successful in the field of interpreting? Yes. But I suspect it was more common in the past for a simple reason: opportunities to study have become more widespread with the proliferation of interpreter training programs around the world. This means that on the one hand, more would-be interpreters seek out training programs and fewer try the self-made route, and on the other hand there are more trained interpreters on the market, meaning tougher competition.
I would suggest that rather than thinking of an innate "basic capacity", one has to look at aptitudes. I won't try to list any here, but I would refer you to two older threads on this site (that as an assiduous participant you may have already read): Is there an x-factor when it comes to interpreting skills or aptitude? and What soft skills does an interpreter need to have?.
Next, "self-made" does not necessarily mean the complete absence of training. There are short courses, sometimes a day or two in length (e.g. an intro to consecutive, etc.) and others a week or more. They are not a substitute for a 1 or 2 year course, but they can help. In many countries translation & interpreting associations often host conventions where there will be many short workshops - another opportunity to learn. These short courses will provide an opportunity to get feedback, and one of the major problems with self-training is the lack of feedback.
Not to be forgotten is that interpreting always deals with subject matter. Thus someone trying to work her way into the field would do well to study major areas of knowledge that pervade our world.
Hello - Luigi is completely right. But this phenomenon also still exists in places where there are a lot of highly educated immigrants who speak the local language well, and who have "fallen into" interpreting. This tends to mainly be the US, where there are fewer interpreting schools per capita, where the local population has very little idea of what interpreting is, and where immigrants are really very well qualified in everything but the interpreting skill itself (for example, they understand the subject matter, how to get along with clients, and can move ideas from one language to another, but cannot figure out the mechanics of consecutive note taking). These self-made interpreters have worked at every level, and in many cases, very well (unless they have to interpret in consecutive mode for more than a sentence at a time).
answered 11 Jan '16, 06:15