Every single day modern science delights us with results of its frontier research, striving to square the circle. They explore life on Mars, weave computer chips in our jeans, it is even possible to make cheese which doesn’t contain any cheese at all, promise! In a nutshell: the sky is the limit.
Surely this affect the interpreters’ profession as well. For some time now we have witnessed attempts to put machines in the interpreting booth or at the negotiation table. Disturbing thought: a human being will know instantly, when a joke is being made or develops a feeling for the atmosphere in the room. He or she will accordingly adapt translation and thus take on the role of a diplomate. Even the best technical contraption will not be able to do that.
So, this job should be performed by a living breathing creature, that’s the least one should expect. Of course, I have a human being in mind. A woman or a man who received a good training (ideally a university degree), prepares for assignments in terms of language and technical terms and subscribes to a certain professional code of ethics.
One of these days, I am doing some research on Google, I come across this website sporting the charming adress www.hunde-dolmetschen.de. Shock! Awe! Bewilderment! Indignation! Extreme danger for the freshly coiffed hairstyle! Make no mistake – I love dogs, and I spent some time of my life with a lovely shepherd’s dog. However, if interpreters will have to deal from now on with competition by furry creatures expressing themselves mainly through tail-wagging and barking, my world will fall apart.
With a certain hesitation (whoever knows what to expect) I click on the link – and what a relief! I am tempted to laugh: this site is decidedly not about dogs who interpret, translate or the like, this is about providing interpreting services for dog owners who need some help in understanding the signals sent by man’s best friend.
So this is interpreting not by, but FOR dogs – wonderful, they don’t get under my feet. And the world is in perfect order!