Trying to keep up…

At the request of a number of readers, I have decided to write the next posts on this blog in English. Hope you’re okay with that!

Vermeend is 'wired up' for his speech

Last Friday, I interpreted the masterclass of Dutch former minister Vermeend at the Treasury Fair, an annual event organized by DACT, the Dutch Association of Corporate Treasurers. Professor Vermeend talked for about 2 hours about the future of social economics, finance, tax, internet, the corporate world, the gaming industry, the future of 3D printing, and many other things.

Unfortunately, there was no material to prepare for the job beforehand. Only a very vague description of the subject (the nightmare of any interpreter…). And on top of that, when I introduced myself to him, he smiled and said: “Ah, an interpreter. Great! You know that your colleagues at the European Parliament hated me? They always told me it was impossible to translate my speeches simultaneously, because of my pace. But if you’re translating into English, you should be fine!” Actually… he did have a point. It’s easier to interpret the speech of a fast speaker into English than into Spanish or Italian, for example, because Roman languages generally require more words (= more time).

Luckily, I knew what I was up for, because I also interpreted last year’s masterclass by economist and former state secretary Rick v/d Ploeg, who isn’t known for talking slowly either. Vermeend’s speech was great. He was right, I hardly had any time to catch my breath, because he wanted to share a million ideas with us, but his jokes, anecdotes and inside information made it great fun! Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to share the inside information… 😉

Whispering interpreting at the Treasury Fair 2013

As you can see in the picture, I did not work in a booth this time. I used the so-called ‘whispering interpreting’ technique. Perhaps you wonder why only one of my ears is covered? Well… if I cover both, I would only hear the speaker. To avoid talking gibberish, I have to make sure I hear my own voice as well!

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