Articles

I regularly contribute to publications of professional associations like the ITI Bulletin, the ATA Chronicle and Interpreters' Division blog. The following is a selection of my published articles.

On Tuesday 18 December 2018, World Arabic Language Day, the United Nations celebrated the 45th anniversary of Arabic becoming the UN's sixth official language. As a conference interpreter for Arabic myself, I have always wanted to know more about the circumstances surrounding the adoption of Arabic as a UN official language and about how the first...

We all watched President Donald Trump being greeted in Spanish by the Argentinian President Mauricio Macri at the G20 Summit. Mr. Trump then tossing the mobile interpreting system on the floor while commenting that he understood him in Spanish better than when using the interpretation. Before commenting on this from the perspective of the...

As conference interpreters, we know that the real start of simultaneous interpreting was at the Nuremberg trials in 1945. Until then, the modus operandi was consecutive interpreting. However, it became obvious soon after the Allies created the International Military Tribunal following World War II that consecutive interpreting was not going to be a...

As any interpreting trainer will tell you, monitoring yourself when interpreting is vital to ensuring a delivery of good quality. In my continuous endeavour to improve my performance as an interpreter, I regularly record my rendition and listen to myself. When I noticed a couple of bad habits creeping into my performance, I sought the advice of a...

As a conference interpreter and university instructor, I'm always on the lookout for technological developments that can benefit the interpreting profession. This includes devices that will allow the user to transfer handwritten notes and illustrations into a digital format.

Best in Class

01/08/2017

To become a staff interpreter at the United Nations, one must pass the Language Competitive Examination (LCE). This exam has always had a low pass rate that seldom exceeded 20%. With many staff interpreters retiring by 2018, a shortage of qualified interpreters in certain language combinations exists and needs to be addressed. This led the UN to...

Labour of Love

01/02/2017

The position of chief interpreter was one of the oldest at Oriental courts. "At the Sultan's court in Constantinople the position of baştercüman (grand, chief, or court interpreter) was one of the most highly respected court and government offices".[1] Nowadays, chief interpreters do not work for royal courts but for international organisations....

Danger Zone

01/11/2016

Last academic year, I was invited to participate in a careers day at an inner-city school in Birmingham. The students came with a list of questions to ask the professionals to help them guess what they did. One of the questions was: is your work dangerous? I found myself saying yes, although up until that moment I had never really...