Do you want to know the funny thing about notes? The better you get at taking them, the less of them you need. I noticed this one day in court, a few years into my career when I took a look at my notepad and realized that apart from a few numbers (and some terribly unartistic doodles), the pages were pretty much blank.
I find that there are two types of people in this world: Those who find interpreting to be awe-inspiring, and those who think it’s as simple as opening up Google Translate. Usually the ones who think it is simple haven’t actually tried it. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you that ours is a tough job. Furthermore, we constantly need to explain ourselves to people who think we should be walking dictionaries; people who don’t understand why we may need to look up a term, or why we should have a partner with us for a trial. There are also times when we render extremely difficult interpretations and wish people realized! Sadly, people only ever seem to notice us when we’re messing up.
Have you ever met the interpreter who knew everything? I have. Well, not really. As a matter of fact, it’s not possible to have met such an interpreter, because nobody knows everything. That is the sad reality of being human. But I have most assuredly met the interpreters who thought they knew everything.
Recently, I have been toying with the possibility of changing my Facebook relationship status to, “It’s complicated.” With whom, you may ask? With French. That’s whom!
You see, I am deep into my second semester of a Master’s in Conference Interpreting. The past five months have been…well…hard! And at the top of my Fear List is my love-hate relationship with French. French and I are in a power struggle. French is winning.
It is Tuesday. Usually that would mean I could sleep in a bit, but today it means I’m waking up at 6:45 to check my phone and…yes. Class has been confirmed for 7:30 this morning because during our normal class time, our professor will be in a plane on his way to Africa. Or China. I can’t keep track of his international interpreting schedule, but suffice it to say that he seems to have been in more countries this year than I have ever been to in my life.