By Shawna Stevenoski
During the seminar, the bilingual presenter required all attendees to have audio equipment to hear the simultaneous interpretation. Initially, the equipment was used simply to aid the non-English speaking attendees. When the session turned to a question and answer segment, English speakers had to use their headsets to hear the interpretation of the non-English responses. The discomfort level of the English speakers was growing, but was still manageable. Can you imagine the reaction when the bilingual presenter switched to speaking the non-English language and the English speakers had to listen to the presentation via the headsets and the interpreter?
“I had no idea how difficult it is to listen via the headsets. This is a good learning experience for me. I can appreciate the language challenges.”“This is totally unacceptable. You said there would be interpreters, but I thought the interpreters were for the non-English speakers. I won’t be back tomorrow.”“Sure I can understand the English interpretation. No problem with that. It’s just that I’m suffering from a sensory overload trying to concentrate.”“I now understand the role of the interpreter and how difficult of a job it is.”
Kudos to the seminar team for providing this hands-on, real life learning experience and for the boost to our interpreter profession during this educational moment.
Thank you for being an interpreter. You are appreciated. You are an integral part our community. Because you do your job so well, often times, monolinguals have no idea how difficult it is to render a true and accurate interpretation of all that is being said, as it is being said despite the register, emotion, speed and environment. Thank you for not giving up and for being the best interpreter you can be for every triadic encounter. Thank you to the interpreter service providers for demanding trained and certified interpreters.