For a wonderful (if a bit scary!) illustration of just how important professional interpreters are, you can’t do much better than this hilarious video from Turkey.
The event itself happened in 2012, but the video hasn’t had an English translation up to now. Because it’s such a great example of the value of professional linguists, we’ve added subtitles* so that you can fully understand what’s happening, and appreciate more of the humor too. Enjoy!
You really have to feel sorry for the humiliated “interpreters” here, not to mention the Italian presenter, who has no chance whatsoever of getting his message across. Hopefully the event organizers have learned their lesson, although they’ll probably have trouble inking their next contract.
Of course the big interpreter news more recently was the fraudulent sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial – not a great moment for the deaf community or for the South African government, and an example of the more serious consequences that can come from trying to handle interpretation on the cheap. But maybe professional interpreters will be more valued as a result, which would definitely be a good thing.
*Because this video is streamed from YouTube and property of the broadcasting company, we chose to present the subtitles as footnotes under the embedded video, rather than applying them to the video.