Who knew Interpreting had Ancient roots?

16th Sep 2013


Interpreting has been in existence ever since man has used the spoken word. It has therefore always played a vital role in the relationships between people of different origins since the beginning of mankind. However, there is a lack of hard evidence pinpointing the time of the creation of interpreting due to the fact that interpreting, unlike written translations, leaves behind no written proof. The first written proof of interpreting dates back to 3000 BC, at which time the Ancient Egyptians had a hieroglyphic signifying "interpreter".

The next widely known use of interpreting occurred in Ancient Greece and Rome. For both the Ancient Greeks and Romans, learning the language of the people that they conquered was considered very undignified. Therefore, slaves, prisoners and ethnic hybrids were forced to learn multiple languages and interpret for the nobility. Furthermore, during this era and up until the 17th century, Latin the language of diplomacy, in Europe, and therefore all nations had to have some citizens who spoke Latin in order to carry on diplomatic relations.

Throughout the centuries, interpreting became more and more widely spread due to a number of factors. One such factor is religion. The people of many different religions throughout history have journeyed into international territories in order to share and teach their beliefs.

The term community interpreting was coined in the 1970s in Australia, from which it spread to Europe and eventually the US. Community interpreting was created to describe interpreting in institutional settings of a given society in which public service providers and individual clients do not speak the same language. Although the term is more recent, community interpreting traces back to the beginning of interpreting. In many of the aforementioned events, such as the missionary trips, the interpreters used would nowadays be considered community interpreters.

Based on a keen and necessary interest into the history of interpreting, all staff at Pearl are trained linguists whom are aware of the skills and qualifications required for excellent Public Service Interpreting.

If your organisation, patients or customers could benefit from a 24/7/365 Interpreting and Translation Service, call Pearl today on 0207 253 7700 or email your enquiry to info@pearllinguistics.com

Jennifer Gildea,Public Sector Account Executive


Taken from: http://lrc.wfu.edu/community_interpreting/pages/history.htm

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