No Pressure or Anything

7:30am
I wake up with a quick, optimistic check to my inbox. No email. Oh well, I sigh. I wasn’t really expecting the results to come in that early. I roll over in bed. Thirty seconds go by. I check my email again. “It’s going to be a long day…” I inform my husband.

8:00am
I’m out of bed now, making breakfast. Eggs. Toast. Avocado. I take it outside. I water the garden, which isn’t a garden exactly, more like a carefully curated set of flowerpots on our terrace. Still, it’s mine, it’s beautiful, and it lets me care for things and lets things grow. All summer it has been a welcome distraction from my constant studying.

Meanwhile, I can’t help myself. I check my email ten more times.

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Language Skills-Building for Interpreters

Interpreters face somewhat of a conundrum upon entering the profession. That is, we are expected to have “native-level” discourse and comprehension skills in all of our languages. Advertisements boast “perfect fluency,” and respectable interpreting courses necessarily steer their content away from language acquisition. Yet, of course, secretly we realize that none of us is perfectly fluent in any language; not even close. So, I think it’s time for us all to admit that we have some work to do in the area of language and that there is nothing shameful about this.

That brings me to today’s topic.

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Interpreting for Crimes Against Humanity: Giving Victims a Voice

On March 14, 2012, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo became the first person to be found guilty through a trial in the International Criminal Court (ICC). Among the war crimes this Congolese warlord oversaw were enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate actively in hostilities (child soldiers). Luckily, the ICC was able to bring him to justice. However, the trial would not have been possible without interpreters.

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Court and Conference Interpreting: So close, yet so far apart!

Well, I made it! One more semester to go. As I write, the train wheels rumble underneath my seat. We are somewhere between Toronto and Montreal. When I made this journey in reverse three months ago, the leaves still adorned the trees. Now the fields are covered with snow and the ponds and streams whizzing by are frozen over with ice. I’m on my way home from my third semester at Glendon, in the Master’s in Conference Interpreting program. I was asked recently to write about the difference in training for court and conference programs, so that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

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