ACFairbank ConsultingACFairbank Consulting
   

Certified Translation | Literary Translation | Editing | Proofreading




   
   

Published Writings

A Day in the Life

 

Guest Interviews: Regional Representatives

 

Guest Interviews: Canadian Provincial Representatives

 
My Day at a Commercial Shoot with an International Celebrity

Interpreting “In Flanders Fields” and Other Medical Anecdotes

Interview with a High School Student about my Professions

Interview with Angela, Interpreter and Translator from French and Spanish to English

Simultaneous Interpreting

  USA: Interview with Diana Rhudick, M.A., C.T., ATA-Certified French to English and Spanish to English Translator and President of the New England Translators Association

EUROPE: Interview with Emanuela Gini, Translator, Conference Interpreter, and AIIC member, from Como, Italy

WEST INDIES: Interview with Alice Joncheray-Honneysett, Sworn Translator and Interpreter specialized in Legal Translations, St. Barts, French West Indies

ASIA: Interview with a Conference Interpreter in Bangkok, Thailand

WEST AFRICA: Interview with Senegalese Conference Interpreter Malick Sy, President of AIIC from 1994 to 2000

ELSEWHERE: Interview with a UN Conference Interpreter Abroad

  ALBERTA: Interview with an ATIA Member and Literary Translator, Wioletta Polanski

SASKATCHEWAN: Interview with ATIS President, Monica Cliveti

MANITOBA: Interview with CTTIC President and past ATIM President, Alexandre Coutu

ONTARIO: Interview with ATIO President and Community Interpreter, Pency Tsai


Interview with ATIO President and Community Interpreter, Pency Tsai

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, July 2021, pages 6 to 8.
Pency Tsai

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with and what is/are your language combination(s)?

I see myself as an Interpreter, first and foremost, although the Translator hat is something that all Interpreters should be putting on regularly. My languages of interpretation are English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese. I also translate from English to Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) and vice versa.?

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Community Interpreter specifically. For example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship/menteeship, internship, etc.

I received my MBA in Michigan and after a few years in the corporate world, my passion for language worked itself back into my life. After arriving in Canada, down on my luck, I was saved by my language skills. I enrolled in a Community Interpreter Training course and went all-in. Over the years, I've continued to work on my skills through education and workshops, receiving a diploma in General Interpreting from York University in 2014. In my early days in the field, taking on assignments throughout the community brought me joy as I met people from all walks of life. My favourite memory is that of a young boy, no older than five, who thanked me for my interpretation by giving me his most treasured penny. He let me in on a secret: I couldn't spend it because it was plastic. To this day, that lucky penny has followed me everywhere. Working with the community has been my lifeline and has brought many unexpected rewards. That is what makes interpreting so satisfying.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

More than 13 years.

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

I am a freelancer. I have had experience working in-house and the breadth of the work I encountered was invaluable. Learning the ins-and-outs of ISO 9000 processes through translation and interpretation has stayed with me to this day as the research involved when I take on certain assignments is crucial to performing well or submitting great work! That being said, there is nothing better than being a freelancer. The freedom and general sense of being in control of one's own destiny is so fulfilling, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

5. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

I am based in Toronto, Ontario.

6. Are you certified in your profession?? If so, by which certification organization(s), and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately or substantially?

I have been an ATIO-Certified Community Interpreter in English/Chinese since 2019 and recently joined STIBC as an affiliate member.

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

I don't really know what I would consider a highlight. Looking back, I've seen the phases I've gone through and the hurdles that I've had to overcome to move on. In the beginning, I suppose interpreting for expecting mothers at Lamaze classes comes to mind as a highlight.

Taking on a Taiwanese case the first time I was called in at the Immigration and Refugee Board would have to be the next significant stage of my growth as an interpreter. The feedback I received from the auditor was really the first time I had ever had my work vetted (and my dad would be proud, I actually do speak the language). The confidence that has come with taking on varied and unexpected assignments at the Board is something I am forever grateful for and definitely helped me when I set my sights on becoming a court interpreter for the Ministry of the Attorney General.

I guess all that bingeing of Forensic Files seasons worked because the first time I saw a photo of a dead body in court, I wasn't fazed a bit when I had to interpret for the expert witness. That would have to be a highlight I had been looking forward to up to that point.

Among all of this, I would have to say that the highlight of my career would be the many great friends and mentors I have had the opportunity to meet and work with over the years. I really feel motivated when I see wonderful professionals all over the world who share the same passion and have that same drive. It's humbling but it also pushes you to become better because you know there's room for improvement. To this end, I must thank the American Translators Association for bringing many people into my life while I was helping out at the Chinese Language Division (CLD). Being a speaker at their annual conferences has been a privilege and serving as Administrator for the CLD was an honour.

Becoming an ATIO-Certified Community Interpreter was my next personal highlight. It led to my joining the Board as Director for Community Interpreters back in 2019. It has been an interesting period and I look forward to many more highlights as I move along on this journey.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession you would like to share with our readers?

I feel that sometimes other parties don't understand the complete dynamics of the interpreter relationship to the proceedings before them. It is up to us as interpreters to educate when something is not right. Too often, I see timidness take over and that leads to issues. The interpreter is the most important person in that room, be it in-person or virtual. Without the interpreter, the show cannot go on. I often see other parties brush off the interpreter or challenge the interpreter because they don't hear what they want to hear. There are those who step back and let it get to them, and you can see their confidence fade away. Rather we should stand up and self-assuredly announce the reason for the interpretation. Participants need to think of the interpreter as a necessary communication channel for everything to work properly. Everyone needs to understand that it is in their best interest to have all of their resources work optimally, and an adversarial mindset when working with an interpreter is disadvantageous to all participants involved. Interpreters need to speak up to command respect. Part of the reason for this line of thinking is that many of them have probably encountered really poor interpreters. Not having properly qualified interpreters working in the field is probably the biggest challenge in our profession.

9. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - today?

I think resilience is important for community interpreters. Having a thick skin is definitely a bonus because you will face many hurdles. Not being prepared is the biggest thing to knock your confidence, so I would put that at the top of the list. While working experience is the best asset for retaining information, you still need to nail the foundations of interpreting in order to put your best foot forward. Having taken a community interpreter trainer course in Maryland, I was quite amazed to get an overall picture of what someone needs in order to build that base of knowledge. Formal education or training is definitely recommended.

One thing I would like to share with those who are thinking of starting would be that interpreting is not for everyone. Being able to speak a foreign language doesn't mean you can be an interpreter. An interpreter has to do the following things well: listen, understand, process, analyze, translate, and then speak - and do so almost simultaneously. I haven't even talked about taking notes or being assertive enough to take control of situations, not to mention containing your emotions. All this multitasking makes interpreting what it is and for those who do it day in, day out, kudos to you. Interpreting is really rewarding and you'll find it very meaningful, so just keep at it and keep learning.

10. You have recently become President of ATIO - Association of Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters of Ontario - congratulations! Could you please tell us a little bit about the association - i.e. how many members it has, when it was founded, and please feel free to mention any particular achievements made during your time within the board of ATIO to help it grow and what challenges, if any, still need to be met?

Thank you. It has been a whirlwind of activity for the past little bit. ATIO is the oldest organization of translators, conference interpreters, court interpreters, terminologists, community interpreters, and medical interpreters in Canada. It dates back to 1920 when it was known as the Association technologique de langue française d'Ottawa and has operated under its current name since 1962. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 members.

While it is still fairly early days, our current team and Board of Directors are looking ahead to moving the association forward in the post-pandemic world. Efforts are being made to run a few projects aimed at raising public awareness about Certification, promoting ATIO membership, and building a more cohesive membership community. Stay tuned ...

11. You are also an affiliate member of STIBC. Thanks for joining! Could you let us know why you decided to become an affiliate member of STIBC and what the advantages are for someone to be a member of more than one member society under the CTTIC umbrella?

The pandemic has changed the way we work. Borders are no longer barriers, being physically together is a thing of the past, and the mention of different time zones has now been relegated to the interesting small talk side of meetings. I've been curious to find out how members can utilize their connection to our national society. What better way to see why this would be beneficial than to join a sister provincial organization? Of course, everything involves getting the word out there and, of course, my experience would be different from others. But having a national society of like-minded professionals definitely comes with benefits. It's just a matter of dipping into the pool and seeing where it leads.

12. Is there anything I missed that you would like to add?

No, I think your questions cover quite a lot. Thank you.


Interview with ATIS President, Monica Cliveti

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, April 2021, pages 5 to 7.
Monica Cliveti

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with and what is/are your language combination(s)?

I definitely identify myself with the profession of Translator. I tend to be quiet and shy most of the time and translating in my own space is where I feel most comfortable. However, lately I have found myself stepping a little bit more into the interpreting scene and I quite enjoy it.

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Translator, Interpreter or Terminologist. For example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship/menteeship, internship, etc.

Well, there's nothing brief about how I came to be a Translator! I have loved learning languages ever since I was a child, but life took me on a very tortuous journey to be where I am today.

To explain my fascination with foreign languages, I shall give you a sketch of my background. I was born and raised in Romania, and as part of the school curriculum during that time, I was obliged to take two foreign language classes. Consequently, my formal education in foreign languages started with French and Russian. As a help to my learning, all our TV programs had subtitles, so I could hear the original language and read the Romanian subtitles. This is a feature, I must admit, I miss here in Canada. As a result, I was immersed from a very early age into the wonderful universe of languages, even if travelling outside of Romania was almost impossible at that time. During my school years, I had pen pals in Magadan, Russia, and writing compositions in a different language was my way of travelling to all those amazing places.

After the fall of the communist regime, the borders of Romania were opened up and I was finally allowed to travel, something I would take full advantage of during my university years when I went to study in Italy (in Italian), in China (in English), in Austria (in English) and finally in Regina, Canada (in English). Moreover, I participated in every single student conference I was able to register for, and being able to understand and read some of the languages of countries I have been through helped me a great deal along the way. For example, the first conference I participated in was in Finland. My friends and I hitchhiked most of the way there, crossing multiple countries in a few days: Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Finland. It reminded me of the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles. For us, though, it was only automobiles - from trucks to luxury vehicles - and trains. We did also try to take a plane but we didn't have enough money. My knowledge of Russian - poor at that time - got us out of some pretty dire situations in Belarus and Ukraine on the way back!

Now living in Regina, I fill my free time by taking classes in French and Spanish, a welcome change from geology. But why now?

As I mentioned before, I was fairly shy and timid as a child, and being able to understand and communicate with other people was fascinating for me. Learning a new language is relatively easy for me and like everything that comes easy, you tend not to give it too much importance.?

In Regina, after I was married, my husband and I started the process of adopting two children from Romania, which required compiling a number of documents. We desperately needed a translator for it all. We obtained some amazing support from a translator in Canada, and my husband and I will be forever grateful to this amazing lady! That experience put another seed in my mind. If I could use my language skills to help somebody else, why wouldn't I? I therefore registered to write the Associate-level exam at the very last minute since the exam was the following day. I passed and became an Associate Translator with no clue about what to do with my certificate or where to start building my client base. Over time, I slowly began to learn the ropes of the business. Later, I wrote the certification exam and here I am now, a Certified Translator.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

I have been a Geologist for about 20 years and a language lover for almost 40. Officially, I have been a Certified Translator for a little more than a year.

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

I have been working as a freelancer only, so I can't really talk about any in-house experience. I think, in a way, I would prefer to have an in-house position as it would offer me more stability. However, for the moment, it's only a thought.

5. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

I currently reside just outside of Regina, Saskatchewan. As a Geologist, I offer courses in laboratory work at the University of Regina.

6. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s), and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately or substantially?

Yes, I am certified. I have been a Certified Translator since 2019, so really not that long. The irony is that the very day I received my result, I also received some work. Overall, for me, translation work has been fairly slow. Not a lot of people are looking for translations from English into Romanian, except perhaps my sister. She has been studying Management and Nursing, so I had the opportunity to translate numerous articles in both domains. It has been a pretty steep curve for me as a Geologist to learn the scientific terms used in management or nursing, but I love challenges and I consider this volunteer work for my sister as an intensive training workshop!

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

Which career are we talking about? My two careers are more intertwined than it might seem at first glance. As a Geologist some of my highlights have been study trips to some amazing places: China, Iceland, Colombia, Italy, Austria, and Canada. I used my language skills to communicate with people so as to reach out and understand their culture. As a language lover, I have used my languages skills to translate and interpret for people I did not know before but got to know through their stories. I suppose, too, that being able to help others in some way is what I love most about my translation career.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession you would like to share with our readers?

Not really. So far, my challenges are all related to trying to run ATIS. But those are stories for another time.

9. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - today?

Advice? I look at my profession and I love the helping aspect, which alone makes it worthwhile for me. For my colleagues thinking of starting, I would tell them they need to be patient. Work won't come their way all at once, especially if you translate in a rare language combination. It takes discipline, good ethics and a high quality of work, in addition to a great deal of luck. My advice would be always to do your best, take pride in what you do, and accept the huge responsibility of keeping all information confidential.

10. How do you combine your work as a Translator/Terminologist/Interpreter with that of Geologist and University Professor? What advice do you have for others who are juggling two or more careers at the same time?

So far, it has been relatively easy for me to combine my two loves. As I mentioned before, there are not a lot of people requiring translation from English to Romanian. This means that most of the time I am a Geologist and practicing this field and being an instructor at a university laboratory keep me pretty busy. From my own experience, I would say that if you are juggling two or more careers at the same time, it's very important to set realistic deadlines to avoid burn-out. Make time for yourself and do something that makes you happy. In my case, it would be learning a new language!

11. As current President of ATIS - Association of Translators and Interpreters of Saskatchewan - could you please tell us a little bit about the association - i.e. how many members it has, when it was founded and please feel free to mention any particular achievements made during your time within the board of ATIS to help it grow and what challenges, if any, still need to be met.

ATIS was founded in 1980 with the aim of fostering the professional development of translators and interpreters in Saskatchewan. At present we have 33 certified members, 46 associate members and 3 affiliate members.

I was elected President of ATIS in November 2020 and we have a very ambitious plan to help it grow. In actual fact, the new board actually had a very challenging start. To start the year with a bang, we lost control of our email account due to some internal issues. Then, while we were dealing with that, we decided not to offer any associate-level exams in order to channel our energy into creating an association that our members could be proud of belonging to. So far, I am happy to say we have almost managed to get ATIS through these challenges. We can finally see light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a great deal of work to accomplish to become the professional association we all wish for. For now, we have resumed offering exams and we are starting to work on our more ambitious plans to grow our association.

One of the challenges we still need to deal with is the apathy and unwillingness of members to become involved. If you have any ideas on how to get people involved in deciding the fate of their professional association, I would gladly listen to them.

12. Is there anything I missed that you would like to add?

Thank you for this opportunity to share my story. I am happy to belong to this big family and I am grateful for the tremendous support received from everyone at CTTIC and our sister associations while I learn the ropes of running ATIS.


Interview with CTTIC President and past ATIM President, Alexandre Coutu

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, January 2021, pages 7 to 9.
Alexandre Coutu

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with?

Though I spent a few years freelancing part-time as a conference interpreter, I've been a translator from English to French for over 20 years.

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Translator, Interpreter or Terminologist. For example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship/menteeship, internship, etc.

I was always fascinated by languages - and I've studied more than a few over the years - which is why I chose to attend university and study theoretical linguistics. This training gave me a better understanding of the organization and structure of language and it still helps me today in my work as a translator. After teaching French as a Second Language for a few years, I became tired of spending all my time preparing for the next day's classes and I began doing freelance translation. I was lucky enough to find a few established translators who were willing to revise my work, and one of them eventually helped me land my first full-time job as a translator for a national retail chain. There the translators would revise each other's work and this was a great learning experience. My next job was translating legislation for Manitoba Justice and there too everyone's work was revised. I believe this was instrumental in giving me the tools to grow as a translator and later as a reviser. We translate for people we don't know and it's crucial that we learn how our texts are perceived by others.

3. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

I occasionally work as a freelancer, but I much prefer working in-house. I feel that I can deliver better quality work in-house: I have a much better understanding of the client and the product, I get to consult the writers and influence the source text, and I can take ownership of the final product. Working in-house provides me with an environment where I can constantly strive to hone my craft.

4. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

I am currently Director of Legislative and Parliamentary Translation for Manitoba Justice. A team of five translators (officially called jurilinguists) works with me to translate the province's legislation and to offer translation services to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. I started there as a junior translator in 2001 and worked my way through every position until I became Director in 2015.

The legislative drafters for the English version work in the same office as the jurilinguists, and we work closely together to create the best possible product in both languages. Most of my work consists in revising and mentoring the team of jurilinguists to create a French version that has the exact same legal effect as the English, while crafting a clear, precise and concise message. Because the vast majority of our work comes from two clients only, we have a finite amount of work to complete and instead of focusing on production, we can focus on creating quality translations that will be public for decades and need to stand scrutiny before the courts. Quality is the most important aspect of our work, and I feel very privileged to be there.

5. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s), and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately or substantially? Usually it is freelancers who choose to become certified. However, since you are not a freelancer, why did you decide to become certified anyway?

I became certified with ATIM in 2002. Because I was working in-house, and I still work at the same place, I didn't see any difference in salary caused by certification. I wanted to become certified because I saw it as a professional goal and responsibility.

6. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

The work we have been doing this year related to the pandemic will likely remain very memorable. We translate health orders and various other texts aimed at helping the government adapt to these new conditions and at facilitating health services like vaccination. We get a sense that our work has a direct impact on the population. We were also invited to work from inside the Legislative Assembly Chamber during a special session earlier this year, which was a rare honour and a first for any translator.

7. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession you would like to share with our readers?

Manitoba's legislation needs to be bilingual to be legally effective, and both linguistic versions can be challenged before the courts. This means that we need to strive to understand every aspect and implication of the source and target texts, while creating a well-written product that integrates with the rest of our statutes and regulations. This creates a mentally challenging and rewarding environment where striving for the best matters, and is encouraged.

8. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - today?

Improvement will not come by chance. You are the steward of your own progress; you need to work on your craft through deliberate practice: ask for feedback from more experienced translators, make note of your weaknesses, and work on them relentlessly. If you continually strive to become better at what you do, you will have a successful and rewarding career.

9. As Past President of ATIM - Association of Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters of Manitoba - could you please tell us a little bit about the association, i.e. how many members it has, when it was founded, and please feel free to mention any particular achievements made during your time on the board of ATIM to help it grow as well as what challenges, if any, still need to be met.

ATIM has grown to about 68 members and 10 associates (a newer category for us). While I was president (until this past October), we rewrote the by-laws, started admitting community interpreters, created an associate category, digitized our archives, and created a test on the code of ethics that's become a requirement for admission. We are in the process of reaching an agreement with the provincial government to obtain recognition for ATIM's unique status in the province as a certifying body - a more flexible arrangement than obtaining title protection through legislative means. The Association is still opening up to non-official language combinations, and offering training opportunities continues to be a challenge, but ATIM is financially solid and has a bright future ahead.

10. You have just been elected to your second term as President of the Board of CTTIC - - Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council. Congratulations! Please tell us how you originally became involved in CTTIC, why you chose to serve in this position, and why our readers might consider serving on CTTIC's board next year when all positions are up for renewal once again.

I first attended a CTTIC AGM as president of ATIM in 2017. I wanted to get involved because I thought it would help me in my work with ATIM and I wanted to know what was happening elsewhere in the country. CTTIC had just begun rebuilding itself, and I wanted to be part of that. There are limits to what CTTIC's volunteer board can achieve, so we initially made the conscious decision to focus on serving the seven member societies and securing the certification exam before moving on to other outreach activities. Starting last year, thanks to a full and active board, we have been able to expand our activities and increase communications with the provinces. As you mention, many of the board members are here for one last year, myself included (this is my last of three possible mandates), so a number of positions will open up in November, and we need new board members to continue serving the provinces and their members. If there is something you would like to change or see happen, any project you would like to steer, or if you think you can contribute in any way, please contact CTTIC directly. All CTTIC-affiliated certified members are eligible to sit on the board. We need your help!


My Day at a Commercial Shoot with an International Celebrity

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, January 2021, pages 10 to 13.

Yes, you too could get new linguistic gigs based on your background experience!

In November 2020, I was reading the monthly newsletter of one of the local translation/interpretation agencies I have been working for - mainly as translator but occasionally also as editor/proofreader and interpreter - since 2004, when I came across the following sentences: “We were asked to source a French-Canadian accent coach to train a celebrity in the French-Canadian accent. A film industry experience helped the translator get the assignment.” I realised I was the “translator” referred to!

Between May 2009 and December 2012, I took courses toward a part-time Digital Film Production Certificate at Langara College, graduating in March 2013 after completing my final projects - two short films I had directed, filmed, and edited myself. It had seemed to me at the time to be the logical progression after completing a Certificate in Photography from the same institution. I then took part in a number of other short films: first as a stills photographer, then (in no particular order) as director, camera operator, post production editor, actor, extra, stand-in, boom operator, grip, lighting, production assistant, etc. etc. - you get the picture, I'm sure. Ergo, I have had a rounded education in the film industry. I also wrote a couple of scripts for short films, though I never got around to making them.

Therefore, when I was contacted by my agent at the end of October 2020, I was at first reluctant, wondering if I had the necessary skills. The request was as follows: “We have a potential project requiring a French (Canadian) native from Quebec to go onsite and teach a male Canadian talent/celebrity to speak some lines . . . in an authentic Quebecois accent.” The e-mail continued with more details: it was for a one-day commercial shoot in the Lower Mainland, I would need a car, and it would probably last from 10 to 14 hours. The only requirement was “the translator (sic) needs to be comfortable working with celebrities and teach them how to pronounce in an authentic Quebecois accent.” My agency also asked, if I was not available, could I recommend a Quebec-French native speaker from the Lower Mainland?

Although tempting, my gut reaction was, well I'm not a “Quebec-French native speaker” but I do know a colleague at STIBC who is. I called her, left a message on her phone, but never heard back from her. At the end of the day (literally), not wanting to leave my agent hanging, I thought, why not? I've been translating and interpreting for Quebeckers for years, I've lived and studied in Quebec, I've been listening to webinars from OTTIAQ recently in “Quebec French” and with my long experience as a linguist, I should be able to bone up on the “Quebec” accent through videos and my huge collection of Quebecois music. Anyway, it's a one-day commercial shoot so there probably won't be that many lines, I can always do some extra study once I receive the script, and I can get help from other Quebec colleagues if necessary. So I accepted. The more important requirement - experience with the film industry - I clearly had in spades.

The next step was to talk to the film production manager over the phone and convince her of my experience with French - and Quebec French especially. I passed the test. The shoot was in one week so I started studying the celebrity, watching his videos and listening to all his songs on YouTube (yes, he's a singer) and viewing his commercial from last year for the same sponsor. I was particularly listening out for any instances where he spoke or sang in French to see what his accent was like. As it happened, the commercial from last year I managed to find was in English and most of his songs are in English. However, he did record one song in Italian and another in Spanish, both languages I have studied and can speak, and his accents sounded quite impressive to me. I was, I must say, particularly impressed by an ad he had acted in for the BBC in disguise where he was speaking in a very convincing South African accent. I found only one song in French - a bilingual duet with a Francophone singer - and in my professional opinion he clearly had some difficulty pronouncing the French “r,” but that's quite usual for most English-speakers anyway.

After studying the artist - and by the way, I love his voice and the types of songs he sings, so quite frankly it was a very enjoyable homework assignment - I then started listening to Quebec songs on my iPod. I have collected masses over the years. Moreover, I looked up a number of YouTube videos to get myself up to date with the latest Quebecois expressions, local slang, and comparisons of pronunciation between French from France and French from Quebec. Furthermore, during those same days, I watched a Quebec television series (full of local slang and whose actors have very thick accents) on CBC Gem.

As the shoot took place during Covid-19 times, another requirement prior to being accepted by the production company was submitting to a Covid-19 test - which incidentally I was paid a very nice sum to do. My agent even arranged for travel pay to the test site and back! I received my negative results within 36 hours. Next, I was asked to complete an on-line safety webinar called “Covid-19 Basic Awareness Course for Film Productions.” I did so and sent the resulting certificate to the production agency as proof.

Then, receiving the final go-ahead and confirmation of the shooting day (but still not knowing where in the Lower Mainland it would take place), and leaving it to my agent to arrange the French accent coaching contract and its cancellation policy for me, I went ahead and rented a car for three days. I knew things would start early on the morning of the shoot and go late into the night, so I rented the car from the day before the shoot until the day after.

I received the script three days before the shoot. Luckily, as I had imagined, it was pretty simple and there were only two words I ended up double-checking for Quebec pronunciation: in France the final “s” of “ananas” (pineapple) is pronounced, whereas in Quebec it isn't! And “pêche” (peach) is pronounced with a noticeable diphthong in Quebec, whereas it has a short vowel sound in France. (Yes, I'm well aware there are a variety of pronunciations in both France and Quebec, but to make things simple, this is finally what I went for.)

Just as I was going to bed at 10:00 p.m. the night before the day of the shoot, I received the call sheet. I was to be at an address in North Vancouver by 7:15 a.m. In the same e-mail, I also received 1) maps to show me where to park my car for the day and where the four different scenes were to be shot so I wouldn't get Lost; 2) the final scripts in English and French; 3) six pages of director board where each shot had been illustrated like a comic strip; and 4) a very long list of all the actors and crew (110 humans - I was listed under the international celebrity's “team” as “French Dialect Coach” - and one animal) involved in the one-day shoot together with all their phone numbers and e-mail addresses (sorry, colleagues, the international celebrity's contact information was left blank! Yes, I know :-(). That evening too, I was required to fill in an on-line “Pre-Production Self Screening Questionnaire” for Covid.

On the morning of the shoot, I was up at 5:00 a.m. telling myself It's a beautiful day and was out the door by 6:00. I had struggled with what to wear. I knew the day would be long but luckily, according to the weather report, it was to be dry. I decided to dress warmly but to take my warm winter coat as well in case I was standing around outside a lot.

Arriving at the assigned parking lot at 7:00 a.m. appropriately masked, I was asked to fill out the self-screening Covid questionnaire once again, this time on the specially-appointed commercial-shoot Covid medical officer's iPhone. Then, after checking in with the production assistant to tell her I'd arrived, I was directed to one of the vans transporting crew to the set. These were large people carriers with lots of space. Some seats had been allocated for sitting on while others had been marked off with an “X” so we could maintain the proper distance. We were off and I could only Hold On.

I arrived at the first filming location - outside a house - together with the script girl, who told me I would be with her most of the day. The script girl sits right beside the director in front of the monitors so they can watch the scenes being shot! I stayed away from that area for the first scene, however, as the only actor involved at that time was a dog called Jasper and he wasn't required to speak any French so didn't need me to coach him! I reminded myself I gotta be patient.

As I was standing across the street from the first scene, I was approached by a representative of the sponsor - a multinational carbonated soft drink producer - and the first AD (assistant director), who, each standing six feet away from me and each other, told me right away that the actor aka melodious bard I was there to coach was so well known worldwide (oh and by the way, did I know who he was? I nodded, smiling to myself and thinking of all the hours of his music I had recently listened to and videos I had watched), and everybody knew he was an English speaker, not a French speaker, so they didn't actually need him to speak with a French-Canadian accent. Instead, they needed him to speak with a “Burnaby French” accent since he's originally from Burnaby. I commented that that would be easy as I too was originally from Burnaby. The AD (another Burnaby-ite) was delighted to hear this! So there you go! I was the right person for the job! All I had to do was coach him to speak in my very own French accent!

Next, I was introduced to the Director (from New York), who had flown in for the shoot. The sponsor representatives, I learned, had flown in from Toronto and the script girl had taken a ferry to get to North Vancouver from the Gulf Islands! They and other foreign crew were staying at a hotel in downtown Vancouver.

As I maintained my observation from across the street during that first hour or so, while the set was being prepared and the dog was taken through his lines (woof, woof), I kept trying to guess where the “international celebrity” was. I told myself I just haven't met you yet! One of the parking lot attendants on my arrival had told me he had already arrived and pointed out his very fancy sports car. However, I kept my cool and just watched all the activity, fascinated - this was by far the largest shoot I had ever been on - and didn't ask too many questions. After about an hour of standing around watching, I was finally invited to join the director and the script girl in the open car porch where the monitors had been set up. I had been supplied with “cans” - a headset through which I could hear Everything going on in the shoot itself - and once the crew had finished setting up, I heard through said headset that the “Megastar from Burnaby” (they actually said his name but you know what I mean) was “on the move.” This meant, I gathered, he was coming out of his trailer, parked a few blocks away, I supposed, accompanied by his assistant, hairstylist and makeup person, and was on his way to the location where we were and where he was to start filming his first scene.

When I was introduced to him as his French dialect coach, he tried out all the French he knew, which was “Bonjour, mon petit chou, voulez-vous coucher . . .?” then to my relief he stopped mid-sentence, perhaps realizing he was about to say Something Stupid that wasn't really appropriate. (Muy bien, his wife would probably have said). Well, il musicista bello made me laugh, which I think was his aim. I should probably point out that due to Covid precautions, we had all been told in an e-mail that we were to be very hands off with this recipient of both the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia as he had an immune-compromised child at home. Nor were we allowed to take any selfies with this multiple Grammy and Juno award-winner, to the chagrin of myself and my agent, who had no doubt been hoping for a souvenir shot of the both of us for her newsletter.

I later “met” one-on-one with the man of the méchamment belle voix to practice his French lines with him, once via Facetime using the second AD's iPhone, and once by walkie-talkie. However, to my surprise, I was also asked to coach the minor actors in French. As I had been told their lines would be dubbed in the French version of the commercial, I wasn't expecting to be asked this. Nonetheless, of course, it was no problem and I took them through their French lines just before the French version was to be shot. (For each scene, first the English version was filmed and then the French version.) One of the actors, an Asian whose second language was Chinese, caught on to the French accent quite quickly while the two teenage actors did require a bit more coaching from me but managed in the end. In any case, as pointed about above, the director wasn't really that concerned due to the later dubbing. The two women actors in the commercial were already familiar enough with French they did not need my coaching.

Around noon, production was stopped and caterers came round with trays offering us individualized boxed lunches with a choice of salmon or chicken. I ate mine alone (Nobody but me) well distanced, standing across the street from the third film location, which had just started being set up.

To sum up my day, I will say that overall, it was an exciting opportunity, everyone was really nice and friendly, Covid-restrictions were carefully observed - only the actors were unmasked and only when they were being filmed - and I even got to try out the very swanky trailer washroom once. As for my part, everyone seemed to appreciate my help. There was a lot of standing or sitting around, sure, and yes, I was provided with a chair. I felt honoured to be seated at the monitors with the director where I could see everything and hear everything. I was finally dismissed by the sponsor around 5:30 pm, got the shuttle back to my car by 6:00 and arrived Home at 7:00. I was sooo glad I had decided to bring my warm winter coat as I had been outside all day.

I received payment for my work very quickly and it's probably the most I've ever made in a day as a freelance linguist (but then there was all that arduous studying beforehand!) The day after the shoot, I remember feeling quite exhausted, so it's not something I'd agree to do every day. Once in a while though, sure! Perhaps even Someday soon.

If you'd like to see the resulting commercial yourself, I am led to believe it will be aired during a major internationally-televised American college football event on Sunday, February 7, 2021. Not having a TV or being a fan of football myself, I'll probably miss it. (Anyway, it's likely only the English version will appear in B.C.) However, no doubt, a few months later, both the English and French versions will be available to watch on YouTube. Listen out for the main actor's “Burnaby French” accent and let me know what you think! And one final piece of advice: The next time I call you to offer you a gig, answer the phone! Otherwise, You'll never know! That's all!


Interview with ATIA Member and Literary Translator, Wioletta Polanski

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, October 2020, pages 14 to 16.
Wioletta Polanski

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with?

I am a translator of Polish and English.

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Translator, Interpreter or Terminologist. For example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship/menteeship, internship, etc.

I was born and raised in Poland, but all my post-secondary education was completed in Canada. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and East European Studies, and two Master degrees, one in Art & Design and Humanities Computing, and another in Translation Studies, all from the University of Alberta. My adventures in translation began during my undergraduate studies when I was looking into using my knowledge of another language. In the early days, the projects I worked on consisted mainly of document translations and occasional interpretation. As I progressed, I started turning my attention towards translation theory and history, and finally literary translation. My research interest encompasses the life and work of Magdalena Samozwaniec, the Kossak Family phenomenon, translation history, Holocaust memory, and popular women's literature. My latest paper was printed in Studies in Translation - Cultural and Linguistic Issues in Translation (2019), published by the University of Silesia Press, and a set of translated poems was recently accepted for publication by the Los Angeles Review.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

Translation has been a part of my career for a little over two decades.

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

I am a translator by night and an international student advisor by day. Polish is not a language in high demand but I have been freelancing out of my home-office for the past 15 years. I love having direct contact with clients and managing a variety of projects. In my early days, I used to work with translation agencies.

5. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

I translate out of my home-based office in Edmonton, Alberta for clients in various parts of the world.

6. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s), and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately or substantially?

I am certified in the English to Polish combination by the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA). I am also preparing to submit an on-dossier application for certification in Polish to English. In the past, I volunteered on the board of ATIA, most recently as the VP in Edmonton. As far as my income is concerned, I have already mentioned that Polish is not a very popular language; two months may pass without any projects, one month may bring two pages to translate. In my case, translation is more of a passion than an income-generating career.

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

The most thrilling highlights include having my papers and literary translations published. My texts have been published in TranscUlturAl: A Journal of Translation and Cultural Studies, Studies in Translation - History and Theory, Studies in Translation - Cultural and Linguistic Issues in Translation, and TransLit: An Anthology of Literary Translation. I select my texts carefully and choose authors of content I am passionate about. I have translated works by authors whose writings had not been translated into English before, such as Magdalena Samozwaniec, Mariusz Szczygieł, Rafał Podraza and Leszek Długosz. I also had the opportunity to teach Beginner's Polish for two years at the University of Alberta, and that was one of the most rewarding language-related experiences of my career. Having to explain the intricacies of Polish grammar and pronunciation made me realize how much I actually take my native language for granted.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession that you would like to share with our readers?

What I find most frustrating in our profession is having to deal with translation agencies who claim to issue “certified translations” that have nothing do to with certified translators. On many occasions, I and my colleagues have even been approached by such businesses asking to use our names and titles under already prepared translations, often of questionable quality. This is the main reason why I avoid working with agencies.

9. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - as a literary translator today?

You cannot become a translator, let alone a literary translator, overnight. It takes good writing skills, imagination and more importantly, an excellent command of the languages you are translating from and into. If you are passionate about literature and are a skilled writer, chances are you will produce beautiful literary translations. If you are a poet, you will most likely succeed at translating poetry. However, you should remember that translating is not just about finding equivalent words. It's primarily about translating culture.

10. Are you a member of any other translation association (apart from ATIA) that is more specialized in literary translation, and if so, can you tell us a little bit about why you decided to join and what you get out of it?

In addition to ATIA, I am also a member of the American Literary Translators Association. I decided to join so that I could expand my network, gain access to valuable member resources, such as the annual conference, and have another way of reaching out to potential clients.

11. I understand you are one of co-editors of a literary translation magazine. Please tell us how you became involved and what it' about - its history perhaps - and how budding or seasoned literary translators can submit their translations for publication in it.

Under the guidance of Professor Gilles Mossière, I have been volunteering as a co-editor of the upcoming volume of TransLit. I have had my translations published in TransLit in the past, and I thought it would be a good idea to get involved in the actual creation process for Volume 12. TransLit dates back to 1991. In that year, a small group of translators in Alberta, led by Susan Ouriou, started this anthology. It has since published selections from a wide range of past and present literature in Canada and around the world, together with translations into/from English or French. It is a print publication, but e-book versions have also been available (on Amazon) for the past couple of years. I should also point out that ATIA and LTAC (Literary Translators' Association of Canada) have always been generous sponsors of TransLit, and I would like to extend a big thank you to both organizations. As for submissions, calls are generally advertised on the ATIA website and in the ATIA newsletter.

12. Is there anything I missed that you would like to add?

Thank you very much for the opportunity to share my experience.


Interview with a a High School Student about my Professions

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, July 2020, pages 13 to 17.
The following letter was sent to the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC) office in Ottawa. It was then forwarded to the President of the Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC), Stefanie Kennell, since the student was located in British Columbia. Stefanie then contacted me because French and Spanish are also my languages and asked if I would like to reply. I was delighted to accept the challenge. By publishing a somewhat pared-down version of my responses to the student here, I hope that my answers will encourage others--students and non-students alike--contemplating a career in translating and/or interpreting to follow their dream.

“Greetings. I am a High School student currently attending Grade 11 ... in British Columbia. I was recently assigned a project for my CLE (Career-Life Education) 11 course to report on a career I am interested in. I am passionate about languages and linguistics as I am taking French 11 and Spanish 11 and I plan to continue improving my Spanish learning and skills post-secondary. My passion stems from my personal history as I have dual Canadian-Mexican citizenship and I took French immersion from Kindergarten to Grade 5.

I was wondering if anyone at the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council would be willing to speak to me about possible future career opportunities in translation services and answer my questions below. Thank you, D.P.”


1. What is your job title?

I am currently a freelance certified Spanish to English translator (Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC (STIBC) and Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ)), a certified French to English translator (American Translators Association (ATA)), a community, health and immigration interpreter, as well as an editor and proofreader (among other things). However, I also volunteer my time as Vice-President of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC), as Registrar of STIBC and as Editor of STIBC's quarterly newsletter, the STIBC Voice.

2. What are the duties and responsibilities of your job?

If we concentrate on what I do in my two major, paid occupations as translator and interpreter, I render written documents from one of my professional foreign languages into my mother tongue (English) and I render oral utterances between two of my three working languages at a time. In upholding the code of ethics of these two professions, I must be accurate and faithful to the source language without addition, distortion, omission or embellishment of the meaning; I must maintain confidentiality of any information entrusted to me during the course of my work; I must be impartial by showing no preference or bias in the performance of my duties; I must maintain the boundaries of my role; I must be accountable for the quality of my services and only accept assignments within my competence; I must be professional and ethical at all times; and I must continue my education so as to be up to date with all the latest trends and technologies in my profession.

3. How many hours per day or week do you work?

As a freelancer, the hours and days of the week I work vary greatly as they depend on how many assignments I have and their deadlines. I often find myself working evenings and weekends but there are other periods of time when days go by without any assignments and this gives me a chance to catch up on other projects, such as attending webinars as part of my continuing education, or updating my website or LinkedIn profile, etc. Of course, a great deal of my time is also spent fulfilling the voluntary duties mentioned above, answering e-mails, participating in various committee meetings and board meetings, and reading through documents submitted for on-dossier certification.

4. Can you tell me about your background and how you got into this field?

Born into a monolingual family of British parents, I discovered my affinity for languages in high school. I started learning French at age 13, Latin and German at age 14 and attended a summer French-immersion program in Penetanguishene, Ontario as well as courses in Amboise and Caen during Spring and Summer holidays in France as a high school student. I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at UBC, graduating with a double major in French and Spanish. (I had only started learning Spanish at UBC at age 18, and after spending two summers working in Germany, at the age of 20, I had to decide whether to concentrate on German or Spanish as my third language). I spent the third year of my four-year course at Université Laval in Quebec, where I was not only enrolled in the French program but also continued my studies in Spanish. In the summer after my time in Quebec, I studied Spanish in Valencia, Spain as part of a program offered by the University of Chicago. Next, after taking a year out to work as a freelance translator, English-programs administrator and multilingual receptionist, as well as gain some experience as a voluntary translator and interpreter in Vancouver and Honduras, I enrolled in the Master's in Translation and Interpretation program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California as it was the only university in North America at that time offering a Master's in Conference Interpreting in French and Spanish. (My goal then was to become a United Nations Conference Interpreter!) As my studies at MIIS also included a number of courses in Sight Translation as well as Consecutive and Simultaneous Interpreting, it fully prepared me to work in both disciplines. During that summer and the autumn of my second year, I studied Spanish translation and interpreting at Estudio Sampere in Madrid, Spain and then was an exchange student at the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting (ETI) at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. I finally ended up with a Master's Degree in Translation from MIIS, which enabled me to start the first twenty years of my career as an in-house translator and interpreter, among other things, in Belgium, Hong Kong, Central West Africa and the Caribbean. Perhaps that (adventurous) part of my life can be narrated in a separate Voice article.

5. a) What do you like most about your work?

As a freelancer now, I love the freedom I have. I can travel when and where I want to and work from almost anywhere in the world! I am also at liberty to turn down work if I am too busy or just need a break. Furthermore, I enjoy spending time with fellow translators and interpreters in my capacity as a board member of STIBC and CTTIC. However, the greatest reward is meeting clients face to face and helping them communicate.

b) What do you like least about your work?

Some days when translating for long hours at my home office, I feel somewhat isolated. Then when I get too busy, I have no time to exercise, or even shop for groceries! At other times, I feel stressed when rushing between interpreting assignments--which could be several kilometres and therefore several bus and skytrain trips apart--and anxious about arriving at the right place and on time to help my clients.

6. a) What education or training did you need for this job?

From the description in question 4 above, you will see that I concentrated my early years on learning and immersing myself in languages. In addition to language training and, of course, specialized courses in translation and interpretation, I took personal trips to study the culture of other countries and I was trained onsite in specific fields: health care, immigration, law, agriculture, tourism, forestry, etc. If you have a choice between theoretical and practical courses in translation and interpreting, I'd say go for the practical ones as they are much more useful. As you will hear frequently, it is not enough to be bilingual or multilingual and expect to become a translator or interpreter, you have to learn exactly how to translate and interpret. In Canada alone there are 12 universities offering degrees in Translation; seven of them are in Quebec: Université Laval, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Université de Sherbrooke, Concordia University, Université de Montréal, McGill University, Université du Québec en Outaouais, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, York University, Université de Moncton (New Brunswick), and Université de Saint-Boniface (Manitoba). Furthermore, Glendon College in Toronto has an excellent program for Interpretation. Unfortunately, here in BC, programs in the field are somewhat limited. Currently, UBC and SFU only offer translation certificate or diploma programs in Chinese. Of course, if you would like to study outside of Canada, there are also excellent (and some quite famous) translation and interpreting schools all around the world. Fairly extensive lists of translation and interpreting schools can be found at the following two websites: https://www.betranslated.com/blog/translation-schools/ and https://www.educations.com/search/translation-interpretation-europe/c857-d58.

b) Is there any training you have done since starting the job?

Absolutely! I am constantly learning new things to update my skills. I have earned certificates in a smattering of other languages as well as web design, business, film, photography, tourism and others. I have learned a variety of software so as to tackle almost any type of translation project. Over the last few years, I have attended ATA conferences as well as online workshops and webinars offered by ATA, STIBC, other CTTIC member societies and OTTIAQ in addition to those I come across via my LinkedIn network. In 2016, I attended a summer school in Antwerp, Belgium to learn a few CAT (Computer-assisted Translation) tools. A few years ago, I took an in-classroom certificate course in Community Interpreting while more recently, I took online training in Health Care Interpreting and Legal Interpreting. In addition to formal training, whether in a classroom or on line, I also make it my personal goal to travel to a few new countries every year in order to widen my cultural knowledge and learn variations in vocabulary and accent among French-, English- and Spanish-speaking countries. I even obtained a TESOL/TEFL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages/Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate recently in order to teach English in Italy for a year. I embrace new challenges.

c) What personal characteristics are required for someone to be successful in this job?

The first few characteristics that come immediately to mind are being organized and self-disciplined, having a good memory and being curious. For a translator, time management is key so that all projects, once accepted, can be completed on time. A good memory is necessary for interpreting. I offer consecutive interpreting as opposed to simultaneous interpreting--which are quite different skills--but memory is important for both. A consecutive interpreter listens to the client speak for a longer time before interpreting than a simultaneous interpreter does and then has to remember everything that was said. A consecutive interpreter learns how to take notes using a special system of symbols while listening to the client talk in the source language. These notes are then used as an aide mémoire when rendering the speech into the target language after the speaker has finished talking. Furthermore, it is important for an interpreter to be calm, eat healthily and get enough sleep, to keep the brain fresh and focussed so as not to miss anything that has been said. As far as curiosity is concerned, if there is a word in the translation--or interpretation--that you can't immediately identify, you may need to consult various dictionaries, thesauruses or colleagues to find just the right word, and then remember it the next time it comes up in your work!

7. Is there a steady demand for workers in the field? How much job security is there?

As the world evolves, knowledge of more than one language (especially rare languages) is becoming more and more important for communication. There will always be a need for human translators and interpreters. Machine Translation has been on the rise for a few decades now and is seen by some in the profession as a threat to the industry. However, in reality, it still has a long way to go; humans are still required for the important stuff, such as reading between the lines, noting body language and being aware of cultural references--subtleties that I believe machines will never learn.

8. What other jobs could you do with the skills/education you have gained in this field?

Speaking for myself, over my 38-and-a-half-year career, I have used my languages as a language teacher; tour guide; travel writer, photographer and videographer; subtitler; transcriber; voice-over artist; cruise ship hostess; escort, liaison, community, court and medical interpreter; international sales and marketing manager and more. However, there are many other jobs I have not pursued and today's Translation and Interpreting School graduates are faced with a plethora of career choices such as Bilingual (or Multilingual) Assistant, Conference Interpreter, Cultural Expert, Customer Support Manager, Flight Attendant, Global Merchandiser, Globalization Manager, International Business Development Manager, International Buyer, L10n (Localization) or I18N (Internationalization) Engineer, Linguistic Tester, Localization Project Manager, Multimedia Specialist, Overseas Account Manager, Recruiter, Remote Interpreter, Reviewer, Terminologist, Transcreation Specialist, Translation and Localization QA (Quality Assessment) Manager or Translation Project Coordinator, to mention only a few.

No matter what career you choose, the secret to job satisfaction is finding a job that you love. If you are not comfortable working for others--in an office role for instance--then why not create your own business in a sector that excites you? It may take a while to find your specific market niche but be ready to explore as many opportunities as you can and enjoy your time as you do so. If nothing else, you will learn a great deal and should meet some pretty amazing people along the way.

9. How are new employees hired for this position?

I am not currently an employee, but when I was one--in Belgium, in Hong Kong, in the Caribbean--I either worked with agencies, responded to ads or heard of jobs through word of mouth. Now, as a freelancer, I obtain most of my work through my website, LinkedIn, the on-line directories of ATA, STIBC and OTTIAQ or from past client referrals, family and friends. I also offer my services directly to LSPs (language service providers) throughout the world.

10. What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue this career?

First of all, never stop learning: a) practice your languages: watch TV shows and films, read books and newspapers and listen to the radio in your foreign languages as well as your mother tongue; b) work on your translating and interpreting skills at every opportunity; c) travel as much as you can to gain knowledge of the cultures of the countries whose languages you speak. Secondly, join and get involved in the activities of your local T&I association. In Canada, eight out of the ten provinces offer membership to qualified translators and interpreters: STIBC, ATIA (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta), ATIS (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Saskatchewan), ATIM (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Manitoba), ATIO (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario), ATINS (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Nova Scotia), CTINB (Corporation of Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters of New Brunswick), all of which are under the CTTIC umbrella, and OTTIAQ. These associations, some of which offer student membership to those in university T&I programs, provide mentoring opportunities, social events, workshops and webinars as well as multiple opportunities to network. Thirdly, create a website for your services and keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Fourthly, once you have completed your education in T&I, and have four or more years of translation and/or interpretation experience under your belt, become certified through one of the above associations. As a certified translator or interpreter, even more doors will open to you because you will finally be recognized as a professional.

11. Is finding work for translation services easier in some parts of the country compared to others? (provinces, municipalities, communities, etc.)

The pandemic period aside, if you want to be a medical, immigration or court interpreter, more assignments are available in large cities at hospitals, federal agencies and courts, etc. If your goal is to be a conference interpreter, you should either live by an airport so as to travel to work or move to a UN agency city: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_organizations_by_location. However, if your preference is to be a freelance translator, you can live virtually anywhere that has an internet connection as most of your work will arrive through e-mail while most translation platforms you are asked to work with will be online.


Interview with a UN Conference Interpreter Abroad

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, July 2020, pages 4 & 5.
Due to the political situation in the country where this interviewee is currently working, I was asked to keep the name and region anonymous. We are lucky in Canada that we are free to speak our mind. I had asked this person for an interview many moons ago and the answers would probably have been a lot more revealing and interesting back then, while those of today are fairly straightforward in an effort, no doubt, to avoid saying anything that may be considered volatile or more importantly, that could identify the interviewee. Nonetheless, I hope these replies will still be of interest to our readers, since this person began language studies in Canada before pursuing freelance work with the United Nations abroad. Working at the United Nations is always interesting (and it is a level to which many conference interpreters aspire). However, we must keep in mind that not all UN interpreters are working in safe and secure areas of the world and we thank them for the risks they are taking on our behalf.

1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter--which of these three professions do you identify with?

Conference Interpreter. [Ed. This interpreter's language combination is French A, English B and Spanish C. For readers unfamiliar with this lettering, “A” designates the interpreter's mother tongue, “B,” the first foreign language and “C,” the second foreign language. In conference interpreting, interpreters may be expected at times to interpret into their B language but never into their C language. The six languages used at the UN are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.]

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education--including language education--and background related to how you came to be a Translator, Interpreter or Terminologist. For example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship/menteeship, internship, etc.

I studied Political Science and Conference Interpretation at an EMCI-(European Master's in Conference Interpreting (Switzerland)) affiliated Interpretation School. I grew up in a bilingual environment in Montreal, high school in French and university in English. To improve my C-language (Spanish), I traveled to Spain twice. I also had a fellow AIIC conference interpreter as my mentor for many years.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

15 years.

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

I am presently working as a freelance interpreter. I prefer freelance work by far as the diversity of meetings (subject matter) I cover is enriching. The downside, of course, is the precariousness one can face in a COVID-like context.

5. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

[Information withheld].

6. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s), and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately or substantially?

I am not sure if being accredited to the UN counts, but I did sit a UN examination and passed it successfully. It did not increase my income directly but it helped me become recognized as a competent interpreter and allowed more employers to call upon my services.

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

I believe interpreting bilateral meetings between Heads of State and government really stands out in my memory. The content of the exchanges is not what made them so special but these encounters magnify the importance of our role in terms of communication.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession that you would like to share with our readers?

Remote Simultaneous Interpreting is a disruptive evolution of our profession that all interpreters are facing today. The question of accepting or refusing to work with such platforms is no longer relevant. How we will work using these platforms will determine the future of conference interpretation.

9. Are you a member of a local T&I association in your area? If so, what do you get out of it - e.g. workshops, social events, annual conferences, etc.?

I am an AIIC member and I am greatly involved in the activities of our region.


An Interview with Senegalese Conference Interpreter Malick Sy, President of AIIC from 1994 to 2000

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, April 2020, pages 3 to 5.
Malick Sy

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with?

MS: Conference Interpreter. I insist on this term because it's very important to define the profession of conference interpreter clearly and accurately. In my humble opinion, the terms interpreter - which is too generic - and the derivative expressions court interpreter, escort interpreter, and community interpreter, have led to quite a misleading mixture.

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Translator, Interpreter or Terminologist. For example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship/menteeship, internship, etc.

MS: Primary school in Guinguineo, a village in central Senegal.
High school at a public boarding school: Lycée Van Vollehoven in Dakar.
Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal: Literature (English and Spanish).
Sorbonne Universit√© then ESIT (École supérieure d'Interprètes & de Traducteurs in Paris): Literature and then Interpretation.
Various stays in England.
I have had the immense privilege of having had historical figures in conference interpretation, such as Danica Seleskovitch, Christopher Thierry, Gérard Ilg and Marc Moyens, as master teachers and mentors.
Staff interpreter with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and freelance interpreter since 1985.
Active Member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) since 1974.
President of AIIC from 1994 to 2000.
After completing my two terms as AIIC's President, I enjoyed the privilege of heading AIIC's negotiation delegation on three different occasions to renegotiate the terms of various five-year agreements we have had with the United Nations Organization since 1969. During the most recent negotiations, we very fortunately managed to come to a permanent arrangement. I do hope that Covid-19 does not force us to reconsider this Agreement.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

MS: Since 1971, so that will make it 50 years next year. Like they say, I turned grey in the service.

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

MS: I am currently a freelance conference interpreter, although I was a staffer for the first 15 years of my career. Which of the two types do I prefer? I will answer just like a child would when asked which parent he prefers: “both.” Each has advantages and disadvantages and, I would even say, its own charms. Perhaps also age and experience are my own determining factors in preferring one over the other.

5. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

MS: Mainly in Africa.

6. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s), and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately or substantially?

MS: What do you mean by certified? In most countries around the world the profession of conference interpreter is not legally defined. It is therefore neither recognized nor protected - unlike the professions of a lawyer or doctor, for instance. The coronavirus crisis has raised the question of which professions are useful to the community and therefore deserve greater recognition. Are conference interpreters part of that, I wonder?

If by certified you mean “sworn,” I would say that in Africa in general, only court interpreters are sworn, but court interpreting is not carried out by conference interpreters. This is certainly something to be explored, however, because I believe that certain issues discussed in the courts are so important (the defence of human rights, for instance) that interpretation should be provided by conference interpreters. In fact, interpretation at international courts is provided by conference interpreters.

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

MS: Obviously my role as president of AIIC from 1994 to 2000. However, I am also very proud to have trained, along with other Senegalese colleagues, 21 conference interpreters in six of the national languages of Senegal (Wolof, Pulaar, Mandinka, Joola, Soninke, Serer and Siin). As a result, for the last five years, the National Assembly of Senegal has held all of its plenary sessions with simultaneous interpretation into French and into these six national languages. In a country like Senegal, where 65% of the population doesn't speak French, the use of national languages makes it possible to strengthen democracy and human rights by ensuring the right of all citizens to understand and participate in managing the country's business affairs.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession that you would like to share with our readers?

MS: Yes, the case of the USA FTC (Federal Trade Commission). I inherited the FTC file when I was elected President of AIIC in 1994. The FTC had written to AIIC accusing it of being a cartel and ordering it either to sign a “consent order to cease and desist from our professional practices” or to be prosecuted at the FTC's administrative court. The target of this FTC injunction was an agreement regarding the principles governing fees, compensation, travel days, per diems, professional standards (at least two interpreters per booth, the duration of sessions, etc.). In short, this injunction shook AIIC and the entire profession because its foundations were called into question.

It needs to be said that other professional translator and interpreter associations approached by the FTC did agree to sign this consent order.

AIIC's office and Board chose not to maintain an empty-chair attitude towards the FTC, as suggested by some of our members, who were understandably afraid. We also chose not to sign this consent order and instead opted to defend ourselves before the FTC. Obviously, it was not easy. AIIC was immediately stressed by the thought that everything could collapse: its unity and survival were threatened. Fortunately for the profession, AIIC's Board Members and office staff back then maintained a calm demeanour and courageously made the right decision, i.e. by choosing to defend our profession despite personal attacks by certain members, who were more often inspired by fear and resistance to change than by principles. As it happens, we had no trouble defending ourselves when it came to the accusation about fee agreements since AIIC had already decided to abolish and prohibit all fee agreements in the private market.

In order to pay the lawyers who defended us before the FTC, we proposed a voluntary flat-rate contribution of US$400 per member so as not to reduce any of AIIC's activities. Happily, the administrative tribunal agreed with us and we were able to uphold our working conditions and our professional standards. We were also able to preserve our right to sign agreements and conventions with consenting organizations. Furthermore, we had notified DG IV (Directorate General for Competition) of the European Union about our texts, thus protecting ourselves from being prosecuted for alleged violations of the competition law. AIIC emerged from this ordeal a stronger and more unified body.

This action proved our ability to mobilize ourselves and defend our profession during a particularly difficult time in the life of our Association. Interestingly enough, this same challenging period also gave birth to a number of initiatives such as the publication of a book, organized by Wadi Keizer, and then by Christopher Thierry, on the history of AIIC and the profession of conference interpreter. Birth of a Profession was published in English and French (Naissance d'une profession). I would also like to mention the “Survey on expectations of users of conference interpretation,” which was masterfully led by Jennifer Mackintosh.

9. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - in the profession today?

MS: I would tell them that conference interpreting is a very fine profession, but one that requires rigour and professionalism. A successful future lies ahead as long as it stays organized within AIIC so that technological advances can be anticipated, learned and used to serve the profession.

10. Are you a member of a local T&I association in your area? If so, what do you get out of it - e.g. workshops, social events, annual conferences, etc.?

MS: We don't have a National Association of Conference Interpreters in Senegal. We're afraid that such an association might decide to limit the practice of the profession to nationals only. An attempt of this kind, made in a neighbouring country, luckily failed. Had it been successful, it would have seriously harmed the professional mobility of conference interpreters. On the other hand, we did manage to set up an informal sub-region within AIIC's Africa section to manage our local problems and organize our solidarity and social activities.

Translated from French by Angela Fairbank M.A. C.T.

An Interview with a Conference Interpreter in Bangkok, Thailand

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, January 2020, pages 7 and 8.
The answers in this interview were provided by an Asian colleague who wishes to remain anonymous. I find his answers very interesting as they are coming from a third-world perspective. Despite the fact that his language-learning opportunities as a youth were more limited by where he was living at the time, he nonetheless managed to achieve his dream career. I hope you are as inspired as I am by his responses.

bangkok

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with?

Interpreter.

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Translator/Interpreter/Terminologist - for example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship/menteeship, internship, etc.

I spent a lot of time listening to various radio programs in French, Portuguese and Spanish as I didn't have the opportunity to travel abroad initially, due to a lack of financial resources. Of course, I read a lot, especially editorials and current affairs, news clippings, etc., to acquire the correct terms in the various languages I use. I resorted to the use of tapes and recordings and, at times, even practised with TV programs or newscasts. Back in the day, there were fewer opportunities or platforms one could turn to, such as YouTube, etc. Once my career took off and my finances improved, however, I began traveling to various countries where my languages are commonly used.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

It has been 30 years now and I've had eight professional domiciles thus far. It's been very fulfilling changing domiciles and beginning again each time, albeit very challenging, as I have had to build up a new clientele each time. I've always been fortunate to obtain enough work at the start at each new domicile and not have to live under a bridge or turn to the Salvation Army for help!

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

I've always been a freelancer and it suits my personality.

5. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

My professional domicile is currently Bangkok, Thailand and I cover the Asia-Pacific region.

6. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s) and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately or substantially?

I graduated from an interpretation school in Paris, France and a couple of years later became a member of AIIC, the Geneva-based International Association of Conference Interpreters. With time, and definitely due to the fact that I was a fully-fledged member of AIIC, I began to receive many more offers, which were also thanks to recommendations from senior colleagues.

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

I've had the privilege of working in an international conference with Pope John Paul II, and accompanying the former Brazilian President Inácio Lula da Silva and Prince Edward of the UK. Yet, what I enjoyed most were the meetings I interpreted for the EU former heads of state, who focused on the future of Europe. I have also enjoyed working at a number of conferences on philosophy, where philosophers from various parts of the world gather together. These types of conferences were extremely difficult, yet highly rewarding.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession that you would like to share with our readers?

I have certainly had some very challenging moments ... moments when I scarcely understood what the speaker was saying and had to fall back on my preparation. Preparing for a meeting is of vital importance. I've also faced accent or poor speech quality challenges where all the knowledge I've gathered over a lifetime has come to my rescue. It's quite crucial to have a broad knowledge of the subject under discussion, yet even having whatever scraps of knowledge that have little to do with the subject at hand could come in useful, because you never know what might be thrown at you, out of the blue, and how it could hamstring you if you're not quick enough.

9. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - in the profession today?

On the supposition that you have been given enough guidance by your teachers and other professionals, my advice would be to make sure you don't let one bad performance deter you from continuing. If you keep preparing and work constantly at honing your skills while at the same time being totally aware of your strengths and weaknesses, then you're on the right track. Remember that every conference is a new opportunity to excel or fail or just deliver on what is required of you.

10. Are you a member of a local T&I association in your area? If so, what do you get out of it - e.g., workshops, social events, annual conferences, etc.?

No. I move a lot and don't have much time to get involved with such events or local associations. However, I'm sure there are T&I associations that organize programs that could be useful for their members.

11. Is there anything I missed that you would like to add?

Consider this journey like any other, where it's about a process and not the final destination. It's a learning curve and if you can achieve a state where you can be relaxed and alert at the same time, either through breathing exercises or yoga or what have you, you'll set yourself up for an enjoyable journey. Otherwise, it may prove too stressful to make it worth the ride.


Interpreting “In Flanders Fields” and Other Medical Anecdotes

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, October 2019, pages 10 and 11.
poppy

Since I began working as a peripatetic health care interpreter in the B.C. lower mainland, I have experienced not only situations I was prepared for, i.e. appointments that go pretty much as planned, but also some challenges. For this type of job, apart from excellent language skills (including an ability to adjust to dialects) and a thorough understanding and knowledge of medical vocabulary, one also has to be extremely flexible.

Health care interpreting opportunities vary widely. I have interpreted mere hours after birth and probably a few hours before death (other people's births and deaths, mind you, not my own). I have worked in some psych wards behind protective glass or standing between security guards and in others walking freely among patients. I have been seated in swank palliative care suites with marvellous views over the city, and in some rather cluttered private homes. I have assisted communication in schools between social workers and children during interviews about domestic violence. I have been placed at the foot of a dentist's chair while my client's teeth are being cleaned. I absolutely love the variety - of venue, of subject matter, and of people.

I was a young 20-something, a recent graduate of UBC with a double major in French and Spanish, when I had my first health care interpreting gig. I accompanied my father, a general practitioner, on a two-week medical and dental mission to Honduras as a volunteer interpreter. As a team, led by North American doctors and student dentists, we would set up improvised clinics at schools in a different town each day. Whenever we arrived at a new place, we would find mums, dads, grannies, granddads and kids from neighbouring villages who had taken the day off work or school to queue up from early morning to dusk waiting to consult with us “gringos” and be cured of real or imaginary ailments that they had accumulated since the last time foreigners like us had come. One volunteer's job was to take the children out of the queues momentarily and dose them with de-worming medicine, while their parents, men and women with bent backs and bowed legs from hard labour in the fields, waited patiently to list their aches and pains and perhaps take away a pill or two, a donated pair of glasses, or some general medical advice.

I can still remember three highlights from that experience: once when we were holding the clinic in a darkened school room (no electricity available), the doctor asked me to aim the flashlight onto a middle-aged woman's private parts so that he could see to do a pelvic exam; on another day, I was there to assist the same young doctor as he removed a mole from a young woman's arm - my first surgical experience as an observer; and on the day I worked with the dentists, an ancient granny begged them to remove almost all of her remaining teeth (about 4 or 5 I think) leaving her with just one central lower incisor. I still remember her smile of pain-free glee - with the glint of that one remaining tooth - after it was all over.

Later that same year, when I returned to Vancouver, I continued volunteering as a linguist and my most memorable experience was interpreting during the 25-hour labour of a 16-year-old Salvadoran refugee. I'll never forget the image (and sensation) of having her bare left foot braced against my chest as I encouraged her (in Spanish) to push. Now forward some thirty years, and I am actually paid for the privilege to interpret. I travel by bus and Skytrain as far north as Garibaldi Highlands, as far south as Crescent Beach, as far west as UBC Hospital and as far east as Eagle Ridge Hospital, including many places in between. I have not witnessed any surgeries or births lately, though I have interpreted during surgery prep and before and after colonoscopy procedures. I also interpreted for a mother a few hours after birth, while the doctors were monitoring her newborn in the ICU.

However, on one occasion, in November 2018 actually, I was asked to interpret for parents whose young adult child was dying of leukemia. It was just before the November 11th weekend and the parents, who had flown to Vancouver from their country especially, knew next to nothing about Canada. They asked what the holiday was all about. This question prompted the doctor to launch into a short history lesson about the First World War, Armistice Day and the Canadian troops' role in it. Then she began quoting John McCrae's “In Flanders' Fields.” Of course, not only was it my duty to interpret the history lesson, but also the poem as the doctor read it off her mobile phone. An unexpected request? Sure! Did I enjoy the challenge? You bet! Incidentally, the doctor used this same cell phone a few minutes later as a means to shed light into her patient's mouth to check for ulcers. Alas, gone are the days when a doctor asks me to hold the flashlight!

The above article was reprinted - with some adaptations for an American audience - in the ATA interpreters division blog in December 2019.


An Interview with Alice Joncheray-Honneysett, Sworn Translator and Interpreter specialized in Legal Translations, St. Barts, French West Indies

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, October 2019, pages 4 and 5.
I met Alice Joncheray-Honneysett at the “French Division” table during the first night reception at the American Translators Association's annual conference in New Orleans in October 2018. I felt Alice's experiences would be of interest to this interview series, not only because she represents the Caribbean region, but also because France (and its dominions and territories overseas) has a system of “sworn translators and interpreters,” a concept with which, I believe, most Canadians are unfamiliar.

Alice Joncheray-Honneysett

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with?

I am a sworn translator and interpreter specializing in the legal field. That is how I usually introduce myself.

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Translator/Interpreter/Terminologist - for example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship/menteeship, internship, etc.

I originally obtained a French Master's degree in languages and business. I have also studied in several countries such as the US, the UK, Mexico and Puerto Rico. However, thanks to extensive travel and various professional experiences abroad, I developed a special interest in translating.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

I have been translating and interpreting on a daily basis for about 10 years now. I ran a Language Centre for many years and we were given a lot of translation work, so it is now a full-time job.

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

It is sort of both since I translate every day but also manage translations in different languages. I am self-employed but I work with translators and proofreaders when the job requires it. Since I am in charge of several projects at the same time and deadlines are often short, I really enjoy working with other professionals on a regular basis. They are quick and efficient and make me feel safe and confident every time “we” submit a translation.

5. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

For the past 10 years, I have been doing most of my work out of my office in St. Barts in the French West Indies. However, during the Caribbean hurricane season, I now also work from France.

6. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s) and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately or substantially?

I am a French “Traductrice et Interprète assermentée,” meaning a Sworn or Court Translator and Interpreter. In order to justify my position and to stay current, I take several training sessions every year in my profession, in France, online or abroad. I received this certification in 2010, I think, and it definitely helps me get work. It is also the reason why I specialized in the Legal field. I mainly work with lawyers and notaries.

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

One of the first jobs I had that got me hooked into the language/translation field was teaching French at the University of Swansea, Wales, right at the time when I was finishing my Master's degree. I was asked to help teach some of the Master's in Translation classes and I really enjoyed it. I was then hired to run the language school in St. Barts, which was supposed to be temporary, because I didn't see it as a “real” job, being on a tropical island. Looking back years later, it is quite amazing to think how much this little job has evolved and taught me.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession that you would like to share with our readers?

I will always remember the long hours and sleepless nights I spent at the beginning of my career, reading the same things over and over, carrying out research on every single word or expression in order to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I still work long hours and have sleepless nights, but I am definitely a lot more confident and efficient!

9. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - in the profession today?

Many people without any experience ask me how they can have my job. I try to tell them that it is harder than it looks, but I don't think they understand most of the time. You can't become a translator overnight. It takes excellent writing skills and endless curiosity! I think two of the starting points, apart from a true interest, are education and hard work.

10. Are you a member of a local T&I association in your area? If so, what do you get out of it - e.g. workshops, social events, annual conferences, etc.?

I am a member of the Association des experts de justice de Guadeloupe (Association of sworn experts of Guadeloupe). They organize training sessions for all experts, which I try to attend as often as I can.


An Interview with Emanuela Gini, Translator, Conference Interpreter, and AIIC member, from Como, Italy

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, Summer 2019, pages 4, 5 and 6.
Emanuela Gini

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with?

I identify with all of them because they all pertain to my most important working tool: words. In my professional life, words are the “IT-THING.” I find them, take care of them and protect them. I work primarily as an interpreter, but I also translate. I love to write. When I write, I choose words carefully and this improves and expands my vocabulary significantly. I also consider myself a terminologist, because whenever I am asked to interpret at a conference, I collect as much documentation as possible and prepare a detailed glossary of terms. To me, word scouting is one of the most interesting aspects of my work.

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Translator/Interpreter/Terminologist.

I graduated in Translation and Conference Interpreting (English and German) from the University of Trieste. As a Rotary Foundation Scholarship winner, I also attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies (now Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California), where I was awarded a Certificate in Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpretation EN/IT and IT/EN.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

I have been working for almost thirty years now.

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

When I finished university, I was offered permanent jobs, but I have always been, and am currently, a freelancer. It is very challenging and demanding, because I am faced with difficulties and uncertainties almost daily. However, it forces me to reinvent myself, to discover and learn new things and in so doing, I feel the excitement of stepping out of my comfort zone and testing myself.

5. Where do you currently exercise your profession?

I work primarily in Italy, in the Como/Milan area, but I also travel to neighbouring countries for work.

6. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s) and for how long have you been certified now?

I'm a member of AIIC, the Geneva-based International Association of Conference Interpreters. I joined AIIC in 2012.

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

In my professional life, I have had the chance to meet a very diverse number of people from all walks of life. One of the most enriching and rewarding experiences I ever had was to work at an international conference on the Arctic, where I came across representatives of indigenous populations like Athabaskan, Gwich'in, Inuit, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, and Sami.

In general, the conferences I work for deal with a variety of topics, but there are two conference themes I particularly enjoy: philosophy and physics. I was lucky enough to interpret for three directors of CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) and Physics Nobel laureates such as Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Shuji Nakamura, and Martin Chalfie. I have learned how atoms are trapped and how blue LED and green fluorescent proteins were discovered. In addition, for quite a few years now, I have been working at a three-day conference that deals with Plato and Aristotle, matter and anti-matter, pulsars, supernovae and neutron stars, as well as Golem and Bodhisattvas. When I'm there, I lose track of time and space. It's like soaring to new heights and I become so absorbed in what I'm doing that I'm not aware of time passing. This is what I call τελεια ευδαιµονια, or perfect happiness.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession that you would like to share with our readers?

As I mentioned earlier, challenges are a permanent presence in my profession, but there is one I would like to share with your readers. A couple of years ago, a very good friend of mine who owns the Mozart vineyard (http://www.alparadisodifrassina.it/en/sito) asked me to translate the libretto of Barbatelle, his opera buffa, into English. I had a wonderful time creating that libretto. I came up with an enormous range of vocabulary which I had to put into a rhyming scheme. It felt like I was sculpting words. While I was translating, I realized that so many long-forgotten words and expressions were coming back to me without any effort, just because of the music and of Mozart!

9. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - in the profession today?

My advice is very simple: be passionate, curious and humble, be willing to study hard and learn, and be ready to support and share your knowledge with your booth mates. Team spirit is key if you wish to succeed in providing an excellent interpreting service.

Vancouver French and Spanish Certified Translator and Interpreter

Published in Lingostar's blog on May 2, 2019
Lingostar interview

Click on this link for the full interview I gave regarding certified translations to the CEO of Lingostar, one of the translation agencies I work for.


An Introduction to the Interview Series by Angela Fairbank

Published in the STIBC Voice Newsletter, April 2019, pages 6, 7 and 8
Late in 2018, when the STIBC Voice launched an appeal for articles of interest to STIBC members and the community, I began thinking, “What could I write to attract new members to our society, and how then to encourage Associate Members to become CTTIC-certified?” Personally, by being a member of STIBC, I feel acknowledged by the profession as a whole and thought it might be interesting to show how members of our profession elsewhere work. What's the job situation for T&I professionals in other countries? What are their specific challenges? Do they have local T&I associations where they live and work? How do they go about getting certified?

I decided to contact people I had come across both during my education and in my career. I started by writing to three friends on three different continents - one in the USA, one in Italy, and one in Ethiopia - and received enthusiastic answers from all of them. My first idea was to conduct Skype interviews, but in light of the time differences (3, 9, and 11 hours respectively), I decided it would be easier to send them my questions and let them reply at their leisure, in their own way.

Here is the first. Diana Rhudick, President of the New England Translators Association and an ATA-certified French to English and Spanish to English Translator, was a classmate of mine during the two-year Master of Arts in Translation programme at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, now called the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

I. An Interview with Diana Rhudick, M.A., C.T., ATA-Certified French to English and Spanish to English Translator and President of the New England Translators Association.

Diana Rhudick

  1. Translator, Terminologist, Interpreter - which of these three professions do you identify with?

I definitely consider myself a translator. I discovered early on that I wasn't a good interpreter, and terminologist is something I'd never considered.

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of your education - including language education - and background related to how you came to be a Translator/Interpreter/Terminologist. For example, immersion in foreign countries and culture, university education, mentorship, internship, etc.

I wish I could say that my family is half French and half Spanish, and that I grew up in countries all over the world. But the boring truth is that I was born and raised in a monolingual household and attended monolingual schools. However, I've always been fascinated by other cultures, and when I had my first French class at age 13, I knew I wanted a career in languages. This insight led me to attend Middlebury College in Vermont to major in French and Spanish. Then I went to the Monterey Institute in California to get my master's degree in translation. Along the way, I studied in France and Spain for my third year of college, worked as an au pair in Barcelona, attended graduate school in Belgium for a semester--all necessary preparation for my profession.

3. How long have you been working in your chosen profession?

Over 30 years now.

4. Are you currently working in-house or as a freelancer? If you have had experience in both types of employment, which do you prefer?

For most of those 30 years, I've worked as a freelancer, but just last year I took a part-time position as a project manager/translator for a small translation agency. If I had to pick only one, I would definitely choose freelancer. Business offices are not my preferred milieu.

5. Where do you currently practice your profession?

Just north of Boston, Mass. I've moved to a house where I have my own, separate office that I'm quite pleased with.

6. Are you certified in your profession? If so, by which certification organization(s) and for how long have you been certified now? If you are certified, once you became certified, did you notice your income increase slightly, moderately, or substantially?

I am certified in both French and Spanish to English by the American Translators Association. I do get the occasional job through my membership and certification with them, but I think the true benefit of joining an organization is that it shows you are serious about your profession. And the professional interaction is wonderful.

7. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

I have a favorite client (sshhhh!), who gives me very challenging, very interesting work in the advertising field. So it's actually transcreation. One particularly fun job was writing ad copy for a French clothing line that played with expressions containing the word “look.” With this same client, my translation on the history of a modern art museum was published as well.

8. Have there been any particular challenges in your profession that you would like to share with our readers?

One of the hardest aspects of this job for me is accepting criticism of my work. My secret conviction is that we all think we're the best translator in the room, so when an agency sends back my translation edited by someone else, especially when that editor finds actual improved solutions, I have to remind myself it's an opportunity for growth.

9. What advice do you have for colleagues who are just starting - or thinking of starting - in the profession today?

This is a tricky one. Some in our profession are foretelling the End of Days due to the advent of neural machine translation, while others predict that all future translators will in fact just be post-editors of machine translation. The positive ones say there will always be a place for translators who write very well and go beyond what a machine can do. My advice would be to proceed with caution and have a backup plan.

10. Are you a member of a local T&I association in your area? If so, what do you get out of it - e.g., workshops, social events, annual conferences, etc.?

I'm the president of the New England Translators Association. My relationship with the association, spanning decades, has given me regular clients, friendships, learning experiences, opportunities to get involved, and so much more. Not to sound like a paid advocate, but I think it's essential for translators and interpreters to join a local T&I group.

11. Is there anything I missed that you would like to add?

Thank you for the opportunity, and good luck to your organization.


Interview with Angela, Interpreter and Translator from French and Spanish to English

This was an interview published online in July 2011, by one of the agencies I work for.

First things first, we would love to learn more about you: why and when did you decide to become a translator/interpreter? Where did the idea stem from, and have you ever considered doing anything else?

I took a course in high school regarding career choices and wrote my final project about those options in which foreign languages (as these were my strongest subjects at school) could be used. Of all the professions I researched, I liked best the idea of becoming a conference interpreter at the United Nations, as it offered the opportunities of a great deal of travel, a good salary, meeting important people who could change the world for the better (by preventing war and promoting peace) and, more importantly, I would be using my language skills to help people communicate with each other. I then planned my university curriculum around obtaining this goal. It involved studies in Vancouver, Quebec, California, Spain, France and the École de Traduction et d'Interprétation in Geneva, Switzerland.

If the language career had not worked out for me, I did have a few back-up options. The first of these was as a classical musician since I studied piano up to the A.R.C.T. (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto) performance level. More recently, however, I have added language teaching, editing & proofreading, photography, videography, writing, marketing & sales, website creation & design, tour guiding and other skills to my own company's business package, so as to keep things fresh and stimulating, to exercise different parts of my brain, and to offer a wider range of products and services to my clients.

How different is being a translator/interpreter from what you had expected?

Well, I never made it quite so far as becoming a UN conference interpreter, although I did write the UN translation exam after completing studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California - at the time, the only university in North America that offered a Master's Degree in Conference Interpretation. Moreover, I did contract work for the European Communities for four years so had the chance to experience being part of a large multi-governmental organization. However, I am much happier in my current situation, since, as a freelancer, I own my own company, enjoy traveling for business all around the world and am at liberty to choose when, where and for whom I work. However, interpreting for business meetings can be stressful as I am more often than not the sole interpreter for these assignments that can go on for several days in a row and include interpreting during meals as well as tour guiding!

In your opinion, what is the best way to learn a foreign language? How did you learn your languages?

The first way to learn a foreign language is to be born into it - i.e. to be born to bilingual or multilingual parents or into a community where the language of communication is different from that spoken by your family at home, and consequently to hear both (or more) languages around you constantly from a very young age. Languages are much easier to learn when you are young.

The second way is take courses in the language. I studied French, German and Latin, in addition to English, in high school, and started Spanish and Swedish at university, ending up with a B.A. in French and Spanish. After my post-graduate studies at Monterey, I worked in Belgium for six years and took some courses in Dutch. I later worked in Hong Kong for eight years where I picked up a little Mandarin and a little Cantonese. On my return to Vancouver, I studied Italian, and the addition of this language to my linguistic portfolio enabled me to work in the Caribbean on cruise ships catering to European passengers. Portuguese has been my latest language acquisition as I now work with the Portuguese and Brazilian markets for a couple of clients so need to be able to communicate with them and/or their customers.

The third way to learn a foreign language is to become completely immersed in it by living, working and traveling in the country where the language is spoken and, consequently, being forced to speak it. Living in Hong Kong as I did when it was still under British rule, I was never really obliged to learn Chinese as all my colleagues spoke English as did most shop people I came in contact with. Today things are different and were I to live and work in Hong Kong today, I would probably have to work harder to learn Cantonese and Mandarin.

What are the challenges of being a translator/interpreter? What are the perks?

The principal challenges are finding enough work to keep the bills paid and enough variety of work to keep the brain stimulated, but this is probably true of any freelancer and is mainly why I personally offer a diversified portfolio of skills to serve a number of markets and a range of clients. The extra challenge in a polyglot is managing somehow to compartmentalize all your languages in separate areas of your brain, not to mention to be able to call instantly upon the specialized vocabulary that you have built up in your memory throughout the years.

The perks of a linguist in general are multiple: you understand a lot more of what is going on around you when you travel or when you are in multilingual situations, such as conferences and trade shows. You get to travel a lot for business and have interesting conversations with people you would not ordinarily meet if you did not speak their language. Your world of possibilities widens exponentially every time you learn a new language. But the main perk is still, ultimately, the satisfaction you feel when you do help two or more people who don't speak the same language to communicate with each other.


Simultaneous Interpreting

The below article, which I wrote when I was researching careers in high school, was published in the Fall 1984 edition of Monterey Review, a bi-annual non-profit publication managed by the students of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, which has now changed its name to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, in Monterey, California, USA. The blurb in the magazine in 1984 said the following about me: “Angela Fairbank is a first-year student of Translation and Interpretation. She earned a B.A. in French and Spanish at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Angela has traveled in Europe and Central America. She also studied in Quebec City, France and Spain. She has worked in Germany and Honduras and most recently worked as an interpreter and translator for a refugee aid society in Vancouver.” Those were very early days in my career, indeed!
The subject of conference interpreting has fascinated me for a number of years. Before entering the Monterey Institute of International Studies this fall for the Master's programme in conference interpreting, I thought it might be interesting to research the career, the training programs available and the expected personality of the potential interpreter. It was also my goal to seek out the professional's attractions and drawbacks - perhaps even to rethink my decision. In my research, I found that a great deal of literature had been written on the subject, although, unfortunately, the majority was twenty or more years old.

Interpréter, c'est avant tout, comprendre et faire comprendre”1 The profession is one of awe and envy: the experienced interpreter often has the chance to travel first class all around the world, to visit places not always accessible to the general public and to learn the latest innovations as if he (or indeed she) were attending a series of lectures at a global university. He works few hours each day due to the stress of the job, has a great deal of leisure time and is paid very well indeed. (Please note that this is not really the situation today in 2017, forty years after this article was originally written. If you are planning a career in conference interpreting, I suggest you peruse the AIIC website, which has a number of interesting articles to help you learn about the profession, rates, career opportunities, etc. in terms of today's reality.)

The interpreter's mission is as follows: “by communicating a message clearly and faithfully across a language barrier”2 his goal is to draw people together and help them achieve deeper understanding, fuller knowledge and a greater respect for one another, thereby contributing to world peace. Trygve Lie, the first Secretary General of the United Nations (1946-1952) once said that “the two professions most vital for human survival are those of statesmen and interpreters; statesmen to maintain peace on earth and interpreters to enable them to communicate.”

Opportunities for the simultaneous interpreter are increasing as more and more international conferences are held, not only for eminent scientists, heads of state and businessmen, but also for teachers, students, nurses, waiters and musicians.

According to Constantin Andronikof, “il lui arrive...que son interprétation épouse bien les paroles entendues...son style, son souffle, ses termes rendent exactement ceux de l'orateur, son discours est l'image fidèle du discours original - alors sa satisfaction est grande.”3 The career of interpreter would seem to me therefore to be a very satisfying and stimulating one, both financially and intellectually speaking.

As a profession, interpreting is quite young. In ancient times, interpreters were slaves, educated and privileged, but still slaves. Latin became the international language for about a thousand years; later French was widely used and now English has become the most common language in international affairs. Nevertheless, today's needs have allowed more languages to come into use in international conferences: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the languages used at the United Nations. Interpreters are also used for meetings among businessmen, diplomats and the military as well as in courts of law.

It was not until after the Second World War than bilingual conferences were held and these used consecutive interpretation. In 1954, one-third of interpreting was still consecutive. By 1959, the proportion had shrunk to one-fifth. Simultaneous interpreting as a technique was first patented in 1926 by Filene, Finlay and Watson of IBM and was first used in Geneva at the International Labour Conference in 1927. However, it did not really become popular until 1946 when it was used extensively at the Nürnburg trials. In 1948, a landmark was reached: a course in simultaneous interpreting was begun at the University of Geneva (another of my Alma Maters).

The Association Internationale d'Interprètes de Conférence (AIIC) was founded in 1953 to bring together professional interpreters from around the world and to set up a code of ethics for the profession. In 1976 the association established its headquarters in Geneva and now has over 1600 members in more than 61 countries on all continents (I just checked the AIIC's website, and here are the numbers relevant to 2017: “the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) now brings together 3000 professional conference interpreters in more than 250 cities and over 90 countries.”)

Simultaneous interpreting can be performed in three ways, depending on the circumstances. In small groups, the interpreter may quite simply whisper a brief summary of the speaker's words to one or two delegates. Sometime he is given a written speech to translate at sight for delegates equipped with earphones. However, in the method that is the most common in large conferences today, the interpreter listens to the source language speech through earphones and, by microphone, relays the speech in the target language and this is then picked up by the earphones of the delegates listening in.

Several career choices are open to simultaneous interpreters. They can become staff interpreters at national, international, governmental or non-governmental organizations, or they can work as freelance interpreters in one of the conference centres of the world. There are advantages and disadvantages for both types of work, but according to AIIC statistics for 1976, three out of every four interpreters are freelance. Compared to staff interpreters, freelancers travel more, are more independent and may also find the time to work in related fields such as translation, research, teaching or terminology. A freelancer may refuse to interpret for conferences that are against his beliefs. On the other hand, he has less security, no fringe benefits and no paid annual leave. His work is also seasonal with most conferences falling in the summer and autumn months. On the other hand, the interpreter who works for a single organization has the opportunity to acquire a deeper knowledge of the particular field in which he works daily. However, his work is less glamorous, has less variety and offers no freedom of choice. The freelancer and staff interpreter earn more or less the same for the same amount of work, but the former receives pay regardless of seniority or length of experience. Moreover, interpreters who work for the United Nations are not required to pay any income tax!

The potential interpreter, now has to decide if he has the right personality for this difficult job. Surveys quote quite exacting requirements: intelligence, assertiveness, independence, self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, imagination, quickness of mind and a certain extroversion. He must like variety and have an extensive knowledge which may extend from nuclear physics to trade negotiation as he is expected to talk easily and without hesitation on all subjects. He must have a high level of education and an active interest in current political, economic and cultural affairs, although he will most likely specialize in certain subjects and refrain from working in fields in which he does not feel competent. He must also have steady nerves, good physical health and be capable of working under a great deal of stress. Three final qualifications are fluent speech, good concentration and excellent memory.

It goes without saying that the interpreter has to be an expert in his mother tongue and have the gift and love of languages. He must have an excellent command of the vocabulary and grammar of his source and target languages. (In international organizations he must have a command of two languages, in addition to his mother tongue). Furthermore, he must be well acquainted with the traditions, history, literature and sense of humour in each of the countries  where  his  languages  are


  spoken. He should know their slang expressions, proverbs, metaphors, idioms and allusions. He must be attuned to the different accents, especially when his source languages are spoken by non-native speakers. He should try to keep his own accent as neutral as possible and try to avoid words that do not have the same meaning in different target language countries.

On average, the simultaneous interpreter will spend two to three hours a day in active oral translation and another three to four hours listening. Interpreters work in teams of two to a booth, changing roles every 15 to 30 minutes. While one is interpreting, the other listens to the discussion in order to have a better understanding of what is going on. The latter can also look up words that occur frequently and make a note of any figures or names that are difficult to remember. Before the conference, interpreters should normally receive a glossary of technical terms that could come up, a list of participants in the conference so that they might know to whom a reference has been made, an organigramme of the organisation involved in the conference and the different bodies within it, as well as the official title of each member and the corresponding forms for all abbreviations.

The Association Internationale des Interprètes de Conférence (AIIC) has set up a code of ethics for the interpreter. For instance, he must never divulge any secrets he has come to learn during a conference, he may not accept work that he is not qualified for, nor may he receive any personal publicity. He must be well dressed, respectful and punctual since no conference can start without him. He must also never show any signs of boredom, scepticism, opposition or irony.

The actual process of interpreting simultaneously is rather complicated. Lochner explains it like this: “While an interpreter listens to a speaker heard through earphones...inside his mind...the message...is decoded, understood, the meaning perceived in terms of a set of categories...the results converted into those categories, the output encoded in words of the second languages, and the final result is then spoken into the microphone, and all...practically at the same time.”4 Similarly, Morawizt states: “il faut écouter, entendre, transposer, parfois chercher un mot, articuler, veiller à bien respirer...tout en continuant à écouter et à comprendre des phrases qui se succèdent sans interruption.”5

In the brain, there is short-term memory and long-term memory. Short-term memory is used to monitor and correct one's own output and long-term memory is used to store vocabulary and grammar of source and target languages. Jean Herbert explains that the simultaneous interpreter must “retain for a very brief period...a picture as full, detailed and accurate as possible of what has just been said - after which (he is) advised to wash his mind clear of most of what he has memorized.”6 Complex as this process seems, it becomes so automatic that some interpreters not only learn to ignore the sound of their own voice but can write letters, knit sweaters or read newspapers, all while interpreting!

Although the interpreter may not be conscious of his voice, he must be well trained in the art of speaking. His voice should be well pitched, clear and resonant, pleasant to listen to, neither too dry nor too metallic. The interpreter must be able to vary the intonation, articulate clearly without effort and be economical with his breath. Like a singer, he should take care of his vocal chords and lungs and beware of catching colds.

Now how does one become an interpreter, you ask? There are two possible ways. Either you can take four years of formal university training leading to a Bachelor's degree followed by a one- to two-year part-time traineeship. Then, after 200 days of successful conference work confirmed by five member sponsors, the novice interpreter will be admitted to membership in the AIIC. In Europe, however, it is more popular for potential interpreters to attend a specialized interpreting school of which there are some 30 in Europe and two in North America (at least, these were the facts in 1984, but I believe they may well be different today in 2017. You will no doubt find up-to-date information on AIIC's website). In Europe some 20,000 students are admitted every year, but perhaps only 100 of these will actually receive diplomas, and of these 100, only 20 will find jobs. Considering these figures, it should be explained perhaps that only ten percent of the candidates who apply to interpreting schools are selected for testing and one percent are chosen for the course. Due to the rigorous demands and high expectations of interpreting schools, only half of those chosen, stay and become, through experience, excellent interpreters. (Grim facts, n'est-ce pas?)

The work of an interpreter is by no means easy either. At times it can be extremely stressful and impose a severe strain on the interpreter's health and family life. The job can, in the long run, even be dangerous for the psychosomatic equilibrium. Doctors have found functional and nervous disorders in certain members of the profession, so the interpreter must be careful not to exhaust himself mentally or physically. He must learn how to expend his energy economically and know how to relax.

Many writers on the subject have pessimistic views of the profession of simultaneous interpreting. Lederer believes that the interpreter has become anonymous, hidden behind smoked glass. He predicts that the need for the interpreter's services will lessen as more and more people learn other languages.7 (This hardly seems likely in Canada where many boards of education have cut out languages from the curriculum due to funding cutbacks. These cutbacks may exist in other countries as well.) Seleskovich is of the opinion that the interpreter will never reach the level of expertise of the specialist.8 Nilski concludes that interpretation is at times an absorbing, challenging and exhilarating avocation, at others a murderous, inhuman serfdom, whose frustrations must be worked off in other creative directions.2

The work, in fact, is so demanding that very few people are suited for it, but those who do manage to survive the rigorous training have the opportunity to enjoy a satisfying and fulfilling career. Moreover, should they not have the desire or the stamina to remain in the profession indefinitely, their training and experience will have benefited them enormously and they should be capable of undertaking other challenging work in related fields.

Notes:

1. Université de Génève, École de Traduction et d'Interprétation: Sommaire des Cours (Juin 1978), p. 4.
2. Nilski, Thérèse, “Translators and Interpreters - Siblings or a breed apart?” Meta 12:2 (June 1967), p. 45.
3. Andronikof, Constantin, “Servitudes et Grandeur de l'interprète,” Babel VIII:I (1962), p. 11.
4. Lochner, R.K., “Conference Interpretation and the Modern World,” Babel XXII:3 (1976), p. 101.
5. Morawitz, Christiane, “Sur l'enseignement de l'interprétation de conférence,” Babel VII:3 (1966), p. 138.
6. Herbert, Jean, The Interpreter's Handbook (Université de Génève, École d'Interprètes, Geneva, 1952), p. 5.
7. Lederer, Rudolph, “The Role of the Interpreter in the Modern World.” Babel XIII:3 (1967), p. 144-48.
8. Seleskovitch, Danica, “L'interprétation de Conférence,” Babel VIII:1 (1962), pp. 13-18.



Copyright 1984-2022 Angela Fairbank. My comments are found within the text in italics and bold. As I look back on this report from 30 years ago, things have changed in some aspects while others have remained the same. As mentioned within the article, for up-to-date information on the profession, it would be wise to check out the website of the Association Internationale des Interprètes de Conférence (AIIC).

   
All rights reserved. Website © Angela Fairbank 2005-2022.
This page was last modified on January 29, 2022.
Valid HTML 4.01!Valid CSS!