We interpreters have a great gig.

December 21, 2012 § 5 Comments

Dear colleagues:

As I write this blog at the desk of my hotel room like I have written most of my articles, I can look back at my career, our profession, and emphatically say that we interpreters have a wonderful gig.  We do a job that allows us to learn different things every week, we meet people that most will never meet, and we are exposed to situations many would not even dare to imagine.  We are privileged to travel all over the world, and lo lend our voice to politicians, athletes, royalty, celebrities, serial killers, religious leaders, terrorists, artists, etc.

Not everybody gets paid to be the Pope, a president, an Oscar winner, a scientist who just had a breakthrough, or an average individual who has been charged with a horrendous crime.  We do.  Most people have to wait for years and need to save a lot of money to visit their friends in a different country. I have dinner with my friends from all over, at their hometown, reasonably often, and I get paid to be there.  We are in a profession where we can have our favorite Chinese restaurant in Yokohama, our favorite Sushi Bar in San Francisco, our favorite bartender in Toronto, and our preferred shoe store in Manhattan.  I know these perks have a price and we have to work very hard, constantly study, and spend time away from home; sometimes we even have a hard time figuring out where home is, but we are definitely privileged to have this career. I consider myself very fortunate to wake up every day to a new adventure and to look forward to another day of doing a job that I love. I believe that most of you would agree that we have a great gig.  Please let me read your comments.

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§ 5 Responses to We interpreters have a great gig.

  • Amen.
    For years I have told people that interpreting allows me to do 3 things that I love: I learn things that I could not pay to study, because of the variety. I travel and get paid to do it. I talk and as those of you who know me, i love to do as well.
    So yes dear friend, we are a lucky bunch and all the hard work implied is most definitely worth it!

  • Mark Thompson says:

    Too true!
    My last job in the booth was for the State Justice Department, followed by visits to several prison units here insoutheastern Brazil – amazing!

    In contrast, for the first six months of this year I worked with a group of Chinese engineers installing and testing large industrial machines, so was involved in site work, medical check-ups, trips to hospitals, the Federal Police and even the local shopping centre…

    Not many others have such great opportunities to learn and experience what we do.

  • I couldn’t agree more. And I think it’s good to be reminded of just how priviledged we are. It’s something to be thankful for!
    Best holidays to everyone!

  • Carolyn says:

    No doubt about it, Tony!!! I was just in Tikal for the end of the Mayan calendar celebration (13 Baq´tun). It was a wonderful experience. You never know where the interpretation world will take you next!!! Enjoy the holidays, since it was NOT the end of the world. Merry Christmas!!

  • June says:

    Not to mention all the benefits we get from being a frequent flyer. A premier status, airport lounges, and free travels for entire family.

    Most importantly, when a client or people in audience approaches me at a booth and thank me, I feel awesome! All the hard work nights before conferences and numerous jet lags are paid off.

    I enjoy reading your articles. Specially this one reminds me how much I love my job and how fortunate I am to be in this profession 🙂

    Merry Christmas to everyone!

    English-Japanese Conference Interpreter

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