Blog posts straight from the thick of the action

How real is reality?

Communication researcher Paul Watzlawick’s fascinating theory is always food for thought.

Here you will find a variety of blog posts, divided by theme, which provide deeper insight into one small aspect of a single instance of reality. These cannot in any truthful or honest way be taken as a representation of reality in general.

Soundproof and watertight

Soundproof and watertight

My very first blog post. How fitting to have written about how I became an interpreter.

A mental journey back to where it all began, then - how lovely!

All I can say is that it was neither a strategic plan nor a long-standing professional dream. We didn’t seek each other out, interpreting and I, and yet find each other, we did.

After leaving school, the first thing I did was to go on a modern, seriously-shortened version of a Grand Tour, living for almost a year in the US, in the area around Washington D.C. It was during this period that I began to notice the whole new feeling that would bubble up inside me whenever I used this new language. It was a like a parallel force, as strong as the passion I had for my work in German.

Something about English, then. It was then that I decided that I wanted to translate literature, but, finding the town quite beautiful, I nevertheless decided to study in Heidelberg.

After receiving my undergraduate degree in translation, the opportunity to study interpreting suddenly presented itself. Instantly feeling the spark, I battled my way through the course and have never looked back.

I am always seeking the flow that can emerge during conference interpreting, making this work so fascinating.

A big open-air event, with the interpreting booth positioned in front of the stage and right amongst the spectators. We spent the first half hour calmly interpreting the interviews on stage, at which point a sudden downpour and storm broke out. The actors on stage jumped for cover amongst the surrounding props and the square emptied within minutes. And so all of a sudden, there we were, holed up in a lonely interpreting booth, rain absolutely teaming down the window panes, with not a single soul as far as we could see. It felt like the end of the world. But here’s what I learned from that experience: interpreting booths aren’t just soundproof, they’re watertight too.

Especially now, during these times of great change and possibility (with all their inherent downsides), I ask all those responsible for meetings, conferences, conventions and symposia to appreciate the importance of high-quality sound. As part of the preparatory meeting, feel free to ask us why "good sound" means something different to interpreters than it does to participants. We are happy to outline the options for your event, both to prevent damage to language professionals' health (and hearing) and to maintain the quality of your meeting.

This article was a guest contribution to colleague Anna Furlan’s blog about the world of interpreting “Kabinengeflüster” (in German).

Dipl.-Dolm. Andrea Wilming
c/o CUBES Co-Working
Rudolf-Diesel-Str. 115
46485 Wesel

+49 (0)177 44 94 915

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Proscenium, noun

- The area of a modern theatre that is located between the curtain and the audience
- The stage of an ancient theatre, located between the background and the audience

(Source: Oxford English Dictionary)