Interpretation as simple as math (or not)

Interpreters go out and learn about a resource, we do a lot of research, check our sources and try our best to make sure that the information we provide to our visitors is accurate. Some topics make us lean towards thinking that the knowledge, data, facts, dates, etc are absolutely true and accurate. This is when interpretation comes to play.


Screenshot courtesy of Facebook

If you are a regular user of social media you probably have seen a math problem posted and asking if you know the answer to the “simple” problem to post the “correct” answer. I have seen some threads going for days, people getting upset and into very heated discussions about the mathematical solution to the problem.

I had to read a two page explanation about how people could come up with different answers to a math problem that most people think it should have only one correct answer. It was eye-opening that the author of the article used the word “interpretation”; his conclusion was that the answer could very well be on the eyes of the problem solver and not the problem itself resulting in multiple correct answers.

Remember that our audience may have different interpretations of the resources that we are trying to interpret and being open-minded to them is always a must. There is always more than one solution to a problem even if  we are convinced that it is not.

Next time you are working on a new resource try to figure out how many different ways are out the to interpret it and make the best of it.

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