Communicate!

A brief reflection on interpretation and professionalism

The 6th National Conference and International Forum on Interpreting was held at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics in October 2006. As President of AIIC, I was invited to address the audience of students and teachers in attendance. Here is what I said to them.

AIIC discovers thailand

The purpose of an inter-regional meeting is discovery. AIIC funds are used to help members travel great distances in order to meet with colleagues they might not otherwise get to know. Examination of the usual list of pressing issues acquires greater depth of field with new participants from multiple cultures. You look around the room and you realize there is no majority, only various minorities contributing on an equal basis. It's a perfectly comfortable setting for an interpreter.

Learning that awful foreign language: a Brooklyn linguist looks at how we acquire languages

"I hate people who know how to do things." This may sound like a quote from Pol Pot, who, upon seizing power in Cambodia, executed 100% of that country's intellectuals. But, in actuality, this quote was an epitaph that I carved in my mahogany desk, with a rather large Bowie knife, after listening to the network guy at my company drone on for two hours about Internet spiders and search-network-megabytes, giga, hard drive, external, USP....