Murky concepts of business overpower clear thinking in this business-dominated world. No, I'm not about to rant about blind faith in the rationality of markets; rather let's try to apply a smidgeon of rationality to the business of making a living as a freelance interpreter.
Lynette was born in Nanjing, China, but spent much of her childhood in Switzerland, attending the International School of Geneva through middle school. In 1966 her family returned to Beijing where she later undertook undergraduate studies in Chinese language at Peking University, and was among the first graduates (1981) of the UN Interpreter and Translator Training Course at Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Interpreters love glossaries, for preparation at home and for work in the booth. But we need them to be more than a list of hard-to-navigate terms; we want them to work for us and not make us work for them. Using a spreadsheet can fill the bill.
A few months ago I attended a conference on multilingualism at which there was much talk of "inter-comprehension". This seems to be the new Esperanto, the last redoubt before the world is invaded by Globish. Basically, it means talking to someone in your own language and listening to them talk back in their language. So far, so good, but I was not quite clear about the comprehension part. However, participants enthused about learning what interpreters would call a C language in a matter of hours.
Is the good work of interpreters ever recognised? What do Anfillo, Bung and Hoti have in common? Will learning a language contribute to healthy senior years? What is left after you've read the OED? So much to learn and so little time!