Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Working in Translation
On Thursday I did something I have only done once before, a presentation through a language interpreter. My office was visited by a delegation from mainland China. They had interesting and relevant questions about our work and the issues we work on. The interpreter started out as very quiet and soft spoken, at the urging of both sides he become very engaged. The amazing thing for me was the animated discussions members of the delegation had, debating questions to ask, and discussing the answers we had provided. It was clear that most of them understood at least some English, I had no clue what they were saying.
I came back to the office and did a google search for tips for working through an interpreter. We didn't do too bad. I was concerned that we were saying too many words before pausing for the interpreter to interpret. The experts urged completing the thought then allowing the interpreter to work, this is interpreting not translating. A pure translation, well it results in lines like the first dessert on the menu above. The profiteroles were divine.