So I was out of the office interpreting last week and really enjoyed the experience. It was hard work, with very long days, technical presentations, rowdy participants, karaoke and long bus journeys. But I was on the local news (well, my voice was) and it was fun. I was reminded of one golden rule: when interpreting, do not anticipate what the person is going to say and start conveying the message to the audience before they’ve finished their sentence. Puzzled? It went something like this:
Speaker: Merci pour cette intéressante présentation, euh, nous allons prendre 5 minutes, euh, disons, 10 minutes, allez, euh… (Thanks for this interesting presentation, we’re going to take five minutes, er, or maybe 10 minutes, why not, to, er…)
Me: Thanks for this interesting presentation, we’re going to take a 10 minute break.
Speaker: … pour une rapide séance de questions-réponses. (… for a few questions and answers).
Me, horrified and hurried: SORRY, THAT WAS 10 MINUTES FOR A FEW QUESTIONS, very sorry, wishful thinking on my part.
The English speakers burst out laughing. Phew.