Simultaneous Interpreter Dubai

What Makes a Good Interpreter

What Makes a Good Interpreter

Interpreters rarely make the news – but when they do, it’s often for some alarming consequence. A case in point is the recent claim that an interpreter for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was incarcerated (“disciplined”) after negotiations with the US failed.

A more well known story doing the rounds is that of an alleged interpreting blunder that led to the decision to bomb Hiroshima in World War II.

However, interpreters do make it to the news in more positive and productive ways – and often we’re not even aware of it. Red Sea Translation’s Adel Alhaimi, a simultaneous interpreter, has appeared in news media interviews several times and his latest appearance was on the Abu Dhabi Sport  Live Channel, where he was interviewed as a member of the Abu Dhabi Chess Club.

As Adel was pointing out how sport serves a greater purpose than merely building muscles, for example by helping to develop social skills, I couldn’t help but reflect on how well rounded a conference interpreter needs to be in order to succeed in this challenging vocation.

Scholarly articles aside, experience in the translation industry highlights a number of qualities a good interpreter needs, such as:

  • Exceptional social skills (high social IQ)
  • The “gift of the gab”
  • Should be flexible and adaptable
  • Quick-thinking
  • Well traveled (essential for the cultural savvy that comes with exposure to different cultures and outlooks)
  • Well rounded – a balanced life style that includes sport and recreation
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Willingness to constantly learn and develop oneself
  • A sense of humour

In other words, a good interpreter, particularly in the conference/simultaneous field is one that strives to be fully human. This conjures up a sense of living life to the full.

But hang on…

Aren’t we all interpreters, one way or another?

Our very humanity calls on us to be interpreters at every level of life. We interpret every day: situations, facial expressions, voice inflections – collecting and interpreting a myriad of information bits daily – merely to exist and communicate in our complex world.

Here’s to good interpreters! Here’s to us all! Sure, we’re not all gifted with vibrant vocal registers, remarkable recall or a vocabulary that stuns – but as humans we owe it to ourselves (and our society) to work at being well rounded, well read and ever willing to learn!

Red Sea Translates for Professor Michio Kaku at Risk & Resilience Conference, Dubai


DUBAI 16 DECEMBER 2018: Red Sea Translation, headed by CEO Adel Alhaimi once again had the privilege of facilitating simultaneous interpretation for DEWA , this time at the Risk and Resilience Conference 2018, held at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah.

Red Sea Translation’s Adel Alhaimi at Madinat Jumeirah for DEWA’s 2018 Risk & Resilience Conference

After translating the opening speech for HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, the Red Sea team, comprising of Adel Alhaimi supported by colleague Tariq Galmeran, had the rare privilege of interpreting a talk by Professor Michio Kaku, world famous American theoretical physicist.

Adel Alhaimi checking requirements with Professor Michio Kaku

Professor Michio Kaku with team interpreter Tariq Galmeran

Adel met Professor Kaku prior to the event, to discuss any special requirements regarding his speech and was delighted to be able to interpret for him – as Adel has followed, reflected upon and shared Professor Kaku’s work for years.

During the Conference

Adel was quick to note the significance of  speakers such as Michio Kaku being invited to UAE, remarking that it clearly shows the progressive and tolerant outlook of the nation. 

Red Sea’s Adel Alhaimi greeting speakers on behalf of the interpreting team, to assess their needs

Other speakers included well known international motivational speaker Mark Gallagher (of Formula 1 fame) as well as Formula 1 Champion David Coulthard and other inspirational speakers from abroad.

Red Sea’s Adel Alhaimi with colleague Tariq Atari in the interpreter’s booth – DEWA Risk & Resilience Conference

Red Sea Translation extends a note of thanks to Mosaic Live, who invited Red Sea Translation to participate. As always, top interpreters were chosen for the event and CEO Adel Alhaimi was pleased to hear that the clients (DEWA and Ernst & Young) were pleased with the quality of the English-Arabic interpretation.

Adel Alhaimi interpreting during the DEWA Risk Conference



Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has today organised the ‘Risk & Resilience Conference 2018,’ under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, with the theme ‘Enlightening Today’s Unknowns for Tomorrow.’ The conference, which was organised in partnership with Ernst & Young, was attended by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA; HE Aisha Miran. Assistant Secretary General, Strategy Management and Governance Sector at the Executive Council of Dubai;  Dr. Ahmed Al Nusairat, Coordinator General of the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP); Omran Sharaf, the Emirates Mars Mission Project Manager (Hope Probe) at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre; Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group; DEWA’s Executive Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents, and officials from the government and private sectors.

A number of international speakers in risk and resilience took part in the conference, which was organised in Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. These included Michio Kaku, an American theoretical physicist; Mark Gallagher, a motivational speaker in car racing; David Coulthard, a Formula 1 champion; and other prominent experts.

“This year’s conference is particularly important due to the essential role of risk management, resilience, and business continuity in realising DEWA’s updated vision to become a Sustainable Innovative Leading Utility. It also supports DEWA’s efforts to implement the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to be prepared for the rapid changes, according to a vision that not only anticipates the future, but makes it. DEWA operates a rigorous risk management system, bolstering its resilience by anticipating risks and preparing for change, to ensure business continuity. We also adapt our work environment and operations to support national strategies and goals, and deliver uninterrupted supplies of reliable electricity and water services to over 850,000 customers in Dubai according to the highest levels of availability, reliability, and quality worldwide,” said Al Tayer in his keynote speech in the conference.

Professor Michio Kaku, a renowned theoretical physicist, futurist, and popular science communicator, revealed what our future world would look like at this year’s Risk and Resilience Conference 2018 held in Dubai on Sunday.

A keynote speaker at the conference with the theme ‘Enlightening Today’s Unknowns for Tomorrow’, Professor Kaku said the future is bright for countries and governments that capitalise on intelligence capital and Dubai is doing exactly that.

“The engine of prosperity is science and technology. Those countries which embrace those principles will be rich. Those countries that only believe in old fashioned commodities like agriculture and food unfortunately, those prices keep dropping every year and they will be poor in the future,” Professor Kaku told Gulf News at the conference organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) in partnership with Ernst and Young.


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