Speaking Worlds

Mariana's blog about
interpretation and translation


The Future is Now

Remote interpreting is not new. In the past 10 years, many interpreters have been given the chance to work online, or remotely. It has mainly involved consecutive interpreting, over the phone or on Skype. Consecutive has never been my favourite form of interpreting, since it involves allowing for pauses in the speaker's speech so that the interpreter may then repeat what has been said in the target language. Consecutive interpreting is therefore an exercise in memory, and effective note-taking. I, however, much prefer the real time or simultaneous interpreting, which remains, in my opinion, the most faithful and direct form of interpretation. Yet, how can we expect to deliver simultaneously over a phone line? The need to pause to listen to the message forces us to do consecutive work, the conversations become longer, the flow of communication is constantly interrupted and the quality of the sound – which is exceedingly important – often leaves much to be desired. All too often, remote interpreting represents a very stressful situation for everyone involved.


The well-prepared interpreter is fearless

This week's interpretation assignment was not an easy one. And this does not mean it was difficult. It means it required preparation. It was actually quite a painless exercise, I had time to prepare myself, to read the presentation and learn the appropriate terminology. My booth mate was competent, professional and kind. The equipment was flawless. The client was sufficiently experienced to make our job stressless.

This is not to say there weren't any challenges, the topic was agriculture - quite specific and almost scientific I would say. The terminology was mostly new and definitely not what my usual clients, and much less I use frequently. The source language was English, but almost every speaker was French, and I think I will not surprise anyone by saying their English was not always smooth and accentless.




Mariana Hernandez, English, French and Spanish interpreter and translator My name is Mariana Hernandez; I am a freelance conference interpreter and translator working in English, French and Spanish. I was born and I grew up in Paris, France. Later in life I moved with my family to Latin America, where I eventually started my career, working with international NGOs, United Nations agencies, and private and public sector stakeholders in developing countries. This blog speaks of my work, and the many humanist topics which are close to my heart.



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