What is it like to work as a Conference Interpreter?


At DCU Language Services we work with Professional Interpreters on a daily basis to interpret at client meetings, conferences and events in Ireland and abroad. Over the years, we have become very experienced with organising and coordinating interpreting services for events –  from hiring a team of qualified interpreters, to ensuring that the client's requirements are all met. This preparation can sometimes be quite time consuming and challenging with all the varying arrangements to be made and different stakeholders involved. 

To throw a different light on this, we thought it would be interesting to talk to some of our interpreters about the profession of interpreting, how they got into it, what they like and dislike about it and any interesting experiences.

We have started by interviewing one of our Professional Conference Interpreters, Ms Azucena Bermúdez Pérez, who has been working as a Spanish freelance interpreter for DCU Language Services for the past few years. 

Q. How did you become an interpreter? 

I did an MA in Conference Interpreting in DCU

Q. What do you like about your job?

Variety, constant learning, the act of interpreting itself, and the possibility to move to other markets.

Q. What are the things that you don’t like about your job?

The seasonality of work in the Irish market and the fact that there is not enough interpreting work in Ireland to it to be a full time job.

Q. What types of events do you usually interpret at?

Business meetings, international partnership meetings, international master classes, medical conferences, international associations, press conferences, speeches at gala dinners, etc..

Q. How do you prepare for an interpreting session?

Research, research, research in order to understand the language of the client and the main aim of the event; preparing glossaries.

Q. What could a client do to make sure that the interpreting can be carried out without any problems?

Provide as much background information and presentations as possible; hire proper interpreting equipment; brief speakers about working with interpreters.

Q. Can you recall any special, unusual experience while doing your job? Or any job that was so extraordinary so you remember it?

A series of press conferences for the Real Madrid during their preseason training in Ireland a few years ago – I think it was July 2009.

Interpreting for Che Guevara's daughter, Aleida Guevara.

Q. Is there anything you would like to tell someone who considers becoming an interpreter?

Have patience and prepare to combine your interpreting work with other work if you want to be based in Ireland. If you are to be based elsewhere you will also need to do other work until you establish yourself.

Keep Checking our Blog for More Updates and Interviews with our Interpreters/Translators and Updates on the Language Service Industry


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