It’s ‘Game Day’ For Interpreters

It’s football season and like many women I have lost my husband to the weekly games for a few months. I haven’t been in to it much myself for many reasons, mostly because my favorite team has been on a losing streak for about 20 years and it’s just not worth the heartbreak year after year. I could venture to say my husband is a dedicated fan enough for the both of us, and fortunately I get to use the time when he is watching games do some of my lesson planning and reading. So here are a few of the ideas that have been going through my head as these star athletes take the field…

Start your training camp by creating a ‘game day’ sample tape of your work. You will be amazed at all the things you will find that can inform your work from having a sample that you can review and assess. Before I started doing this myself I had no idea what I looked like interpreting. I knew how it felt when I left and I could see that either the information was conveyed or it wasn’t but that’s about it. We all have a notion in side our minds of what we look like while we are interpreting or how we feel but without assessing performance we are not providing ourselves with any meaningful data.  You will be amazed at how much a ‘game tape’ of yourself can make a HUGE difference in your performance.

The four easy steps to making a ‘game tape’ successful and meaningful to your work.




4) REPEAT BY CREATE A NEW TAPE AND COMPARE IT WITH YOUR LAST ASSESSMENT (note any changes/create a new plan of action)

There are tremendous parallels to the structure and consistency of sports training and the work required to be an awesome interpreter in the interpreting profession. Much like an athlete, interpreters need to work hard at assessing their performance so we are ready to perform in any situation. There are times where we will be asked to perform in high stakes situations where we need to pull out our best work in the clutch when the team needs you most. We are expected to go out there and always be at the highest level possible. Every time we go out to interpret we need to approach it like it’s our ‘game day’.  This means being consistent, focused, and dedicated to what you do. By understanding the language and inner-workings of the interpreting field we are able to better understand the components that make up the final product of the interpreting work. Many of us don’t know what salient linguistic features are. If we do, we certainly haven’t been able to apply it to what we do within the work. We are professional interpreters just the professional athletes and need to approach our work with a new sense of passion and ownership. Be the MVP of what you do each and every day.

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