Have you heard of Sidney Rittenberg? He is one of many interpreters involved in international diplomacy. In fact, interpreters are key players in the international peace process. They effectively speak for world leaders to other leaders, the press, and their respective nations. Peace would not be possible without skilled interpreters.

Before he started working with the world’s biggest brand name businesses, Sidney Rittenberg lived in China for 35 years. He was a Chinese linguist and American journalist who interpreted for top leaders of that country, including Mao Zedong, during the 1940s. He even sent two messages to U.S. President Truman from Mao Zedong that could have prevented the Korean and VietNam Wars, had they been listened to.

Other interpreters, like Rittenberg, currently work with world leaders to resolve conflicts and clear up misunderstandings:

  • Elena Kidd worked with Mikhail Gorbachev in the early 1990s when he was starting his own foundation, after the breakup of the Soviet Union. She said he did great things for Russia.
  • Victor Gao was an English interpreter in the 1980s for the now deceased Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who believed there would not be another world war soon, and China needed to focus on peace. Xiaoping is considered to have brought China out of the Dark Ages.
  • Banafsheh Kaynoush has interpreted for four Iranian presidents from 1990 on. She taught herself simultaneous interpretation by listening to BBC. She loves that she can “see history unfolding before your eyes.”

Accurate language translation is a key ingredient that makes international diplomacy possible. Interpreters and translators at the United Nations and national government bodies do far more than just convert speeches and official documents. According to South Africa’s Nelson Mandella, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

Interpreters nurture relationships between world leaders, providing insight and guidance, preventing leaders from making cultural faux pas, and helping them to give the best possible impression for their nations. Translators help draft exact wording for peace treaties, so both sides can agree to them. Heart talk is what it takes to create world peace.

If world peace is your goal and you need an interpreter to help with that goal, be sure to contact Dialog One for the perfect language expert.