Interpreter Stories

Letter from the Editor

I have always thought that if I can see something in my mind's eye, I'll be able to describe it. Or in another sense, if I can see what a speaker is saying, I'll be able to interpret it. My orientation is acutely visual, although I will say that certain places have imprinted an olfactory rather than a visual image. But I haven't yet found a use for smell in my interpreting practice while I have for visualization.

Wroclaw, les interprètes évanouis, Picasso et l'officier d'occupation

Lieu : été 1949, Wroclaw, ex-Breslau en Silésie orientale, devenue " terre récupérée " de la Pologne. Ville gravement endommagée lors d'une des dernières grandes batailles sur le front de l'Est avant la chute de Berlin, mais avec un Palais des expositions épargné et de la place pour loger quelques centaines de participants au 1er Congrès Mondial des Intellectuels pour la Paix organisé sous le patronage de l'UNESCO.

Q&A: elusive idioms

We are all acutely aware that language can trip us up. Some websites offer well thought out advice on particularly difficult words or expressions, but interpreters need to deal with language straight away. So if we are having difficulties at work we nip round to the appropriate booth and ask what the UK/Argentinian/Belgian delegation just said. With luck our colleagues will be able to tell us. We call it team work.