What makes a good interpreter

  Linguistic Proficiency

  Excellent command of both the SL and the TL

  Extensive vocabulary in both languages

  Familiarity with the cultures of both the SL and the TL

  Encyclopedic Knowledge

  Knowledge of the subject matter dealt with by the SL speaker

  Mastery of interpretation techniques

  Good note-taking skills for consecutive interpreting

  Being acquainted with different accents of the SL

  Good public speaking skills

  Calm without panicking

  Self-reliant and self-confident


  Able to work under pressure

  Quick-witted and able to improvise

  Having good concentration


  Having a good ear and a good voice

  Having a good short-term memory

  Jack of all trades

  No perfectionist!


Henderson, J. A. 1987. Personality and the linguist: a comparison of the personality profiles of professional translators and conference interpreters. Bradford: Bradford University Press.


Resources for Interpreting is the product of years of experience and expertise.  It is useful not only to professionals, but also researchers and all students of Chinese and English...

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Professor Keith McMahon, University of Kansas

I am happy to endorse her website with the greatest praise for her efforts. This glossary will be useful to interpreting students from far and wide, and its usefulness will extend well across the borders of Hong Kong...

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Dr Ineke Crezee, Auckland University of Technology

This is an excellent resource for practitioners, students, educators and researchers of Interpreting. I am very happy to endorse it and to recommend it.

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Professor Sandra Hale, University of New South Wales

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