Translations with AM: Translator's LifeA couple of days ago I appeared in court as an interpreter and enjoyed it so much that I can’t wait to do it all over again. I know I have gone missing from this website for a while, but there’s been so much going on! But, now that life has been settling back to normal once again, I am back here to share this experience with you.

In New Zealand, very many linguists work as both translators and interpreters, mainly because earning a living as an interpreter in such a small country is hard. Or so I’ve been told. According to Careers New Zealand, “there is a good demand for highly skilled interpreters in Māori but less demand for interpreters in most other languages”.

For me, working with the English-Spanish language pair, a life in which I can mix and match a little bit of interpreting with my translation jobs sounds ideal. Translation offers a desk environment, with the perk of choosing between working from home or at an office. Although a translator’s life is very much dependant on project deadlines, it is otherwise a fairly independent process, with interactions taking place mostly on-line. That suits me perfectly: I love to be able to work whenever I feel the most productive, even if that isn’t exactly from 9 to 5.

Interpreting, on the other hand, implies facing clients and their linguistic needs. It involves the need to think on your feet and the ability to deal with all that adrenaline. It is a test of everything you have learnt and internalised. What can I say? Interpreting does make one feel alive! It’s scary, but very much worth it for those of us who are permanently looking for something new to shake us away from the routine and scare away all boredom. I don’t like having to leave the house everyday  at 8.23, but I will always be keen for a challenge.


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