It’s not easy being a conference interpreter!
Hi there! It’s me! My name is… Wait, I can’t tell you my name because I’m the interpreter, just the interpreter! What I can say is that I’ve been working as a conference interpreter for ten years now and that I love my job, even if it’s not always an easy one.
I can still remember my first assignment as if it were only yesterday: scared of not understanding, suffering from performance anxiety, terrified I wouldn’t be able to say a single word, afraid of looking bad. Once I walked into the booth, it was all down to me and I was a bag of nerves. Plus I was anxious to find out who would be working with me because, as you may know, we always work in pairs!
In the end, things didn’t go so badly after all. I managed, and that was the first of many conferences all over the world. Interpreters like myself travel a lot and aeroplanes become a second home for us. You might think that sounds quite stressful and you’d be right, but that’s exactly why I’m here. Interpreters are often almost invisible, like a ghost hidden behind the windows of an interpretation booth. In actual fact, our job of simultaneously translating the meaning of what is being said using a process of instant transcreation is extremely complex.
Nevertheless, my clients don’t always realise how much work goes into every hour of simultaneous interpretation, so I’m going to reveal what happens ‘backstage’. That way, next time you ask for a conference interpreter, you’ll know what you need to tell your translation supplier.
So put your seatbelts on and follow me on this journey; rest assured that you’ll discover lots of interesting things that you would never have guessed 🙂