In a recent article in the South China Morning Post, Tsang Man-sang, a former interpreter, discusses how the stress of the job forced him to leave the sector.
Tsang said the pressure on interpreters, especially in high profile criminal cases, is enormous. He recalls sleepless nights before a day of work in criminal court. Tsang says interpreters get nervous and anxious under the intense scrutiny of lawyers, judges and the media.
Another challenge in criminal cases is not being able to predict what witnesses will say, and having to scramble to translate obscure words. In civil cases, Tsang could spend a day or two ahead of time to familiarize himself with terminology related to the case. For example, in a construction accident suit, he could review terms related to construction. It was a never-ending learning process.
Since leaving the judiciary, Tsang is happily running his own translation services business.