Nelson Mandela's memorial was one of the most important events of 2013 but the sign language interpreter at the #event managed to get on the news for the worst of reasons.
It's somewhat unfortunate that interpreters and translators in general are only worthy of headlines when they make mistakes. The high level of professionalism from the vast majority of #translators and interpreters is noteworthy and makes everyone in this business proud. So it is frustrating to say the least, when these bogus characters that show up every now and then. People with hearing impairments or deafness were deprived from a solemn unrepeatable ceremony. This is very unfortunate and should never happen again.
Being able to communicate clearly in another language; establishing diplomacy bridges and uniting the world through peaceful conversations while taking a #backstage role- this is the real definition of this profession. Translators and interpreters choose to aid those in the limelight to achieve their goals through clear communication in a foreign language; and to make foreign information understandable to their countrymen.
Thanks to translation, we all know our favourite foreign authors, we like #gadgets and the aid an instruction manual gives, we watch European movies and grew up with #Japanese cartoons. But we often forget the silent but efficient translator that made it possible for us to understand them.
It is not uncommon for translators to become experts in the author they must translate. The professionals that break #language barriers on a daily basis all over the world rightfully deserve more credit, awareness, and protection from impersonators.