7 Things I Miss While I’m Having the Time of My Life Interpreting

Interpreting is glamorous, right? Right! And yet, there are things that every interpreter will miss dearly, especially when he or she is gone from home base for weeks on end. Airports may quickly lose their magic, French restaurants may become un-sexy and the closest thing to zombie lands and a hotel room, although kept spotless by room service, just doesn’t feel like home after the second week…

Here’s my list:

  1. My family and friends. Call them noisy, call them crazy, the top of the list goes to the little ones and for my dear friends.
  2. My dog. Mojo is quiet, reliable and adorable when I’m working as a translator at my desk. As a small rat terrier, he nests perfectly between my back and fluffy chair, waiting for the next treat or something exciting to pop in from the window.
  3. My (old, adorable, messy, aromatic, beautiful) house.
  4. Cooking. OK, don’t be impressed – seriously,  I’m not Martha, Emeril or even Rachel, but sometimes, only homemade will do.
  5. Being in control of my own time. That’s another big one and I should probably move it up. You’ll probably call me spoiled freelance interpreter, after this…
  6. Not finding the equipment I like in the hotel gym. OK, the hotel gym is not meant to be the recreation center with all the latest treadmills with heart monitors and closed caption, but…
  7. Thinking I’m starting to get to know the town, just to find myself lost in it. Where’s the GPS?

Interpreting on Day 11 of 28: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Interpreters not only talk, but see a lot and process a lot of visual information. This is so that I remember what I saw, how I saw and how much poetry there is in an image. And also a reminder to always keep that restless curiosity.


As we toured the tilapia hatchery, we find out that the water used to raise fish is


reused to grow these beautiful flowers…

ghost town

After that, we also visited a cowboy town…

up in the mountains

Yes, there was a lot of driving up in the mountains… baseball

And even a baseball game :D!


I didn’t get to go on the train ride,

royal gorge

but I crossed the suspension bridge, one of my favorite parts of the assignment.

Interpreting on Day 10 of 28: Glossary in the Making

I’ve blogged before about the importance of good terminology management in conference interpretation. To put it simply, organizing  terminology is a must, in order to ensure that interpretation is flawless and that it communicates seamlessly to field experts.

In this current project about prison management and penitentiary reform, we started from a very mundane place, with the materials we were given. And then, the glossary just expanded to a few hundred entries.

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The Routledge Translation Studies Portal

Routledge Translation Studies PortalFor those of us who like to understand a little bit about the theoretical basis of our practice, the Routledge Translation Studies portal offers extensive resources to scholars and teachers of translation, including video and audio interviews and lectures, sample chapters from key publications, exercises, glossaries, and other very useful material from the likes of Lawrence Venuti, Mona Baker, Anthony Pym and many more.

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5 baby steps to a better home office

I couldn’t take it anymore, so, last week, I officially ripped the old, stinky and brown carpet in my home office. As I was frantically trying to rip apart carpet that might as well have been there since my house was built,  finally resigning myself to the fact that most translators and interpreters live in a sea of paper, I’m working on decluttering and simplifying my space.

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Freelancing as an OPI and Webcast Interpreter – Part II: Webcast Interpretation

ATA Webinar SeriesOn January 25th, 2012, I had the opportunity to present a webinar for the ATA Webinar Series: Freelancing as an OPI and Webcast Interpreter. I was happy to have about 70 curious participants, eager to know about emerging technologies in interpretation and if over-the-phone interpretation was really for them.

During the one-hour presentation, we covered a lot of ground and discussed the following topics for both OPI (Over-the-Phone Interpretation) and Webcast Interpretation, two modes of interpretation where interpreters work at home, in a quiet environment. This post is about Webcast Interpreting. You can read about Over-The-Phone Interpreting here.

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