Interpreting at the Drunken Moon T&I Forum

劉盈玓, Interpretation Track

  Let me tell you what was going on in my little brain when I received the inquiry to interpret at the Drunken Moon Forum: *got the email* *screamed inside my brain* *dug out and sent the updated CV* *started panicking* *accepted my fate*

  Interpreting is indeed a job requiring a strong mentality. It was not the first time I got an interpreting assignment, but I’ve always had mixed feelings when it comes to interpreting. I genuinely enjoy the process, but I’m also afraid that I might screw up. The emotional rollercoaster continued during the preparation for this assignment. I was lucky because I had already interpreted for the same speaker at last year’s forum, so I was somewhat more familiar with his speech style. However, I was also unlucky because we were warned last year that the speaker talked really fast and thus might be challenging. I remember feeling like a rapper in the booth last year, trying to keep up with the speaker. I also remember being overwhelmed by all the statistics (something I ran away from by choosing a primary language major in college and grad school). Although last time I didn’t screw up, I was still pretty worried that I might not be able to handle the speech this time, so I was quite anxious. Adding to the stress, we received the speaker’s slides merely a day before the event, leaving me anxiously refreshing my inbox for several days. When we finally got the slides, we were struggling to understand the complicated statistics. Basically, the whole preparation process was already a test for my stress resistance.

  The actual interpreting task was not scary at all. The speaker was very nice. He still spoke quite fast, but he explained his research and all the difficult numbers in a very newbie-friendly way, so I had no problem comprehending the message while interpreting. The major car wreck that I worried about didn’t happen, and I think I did okay.

  I’ve also learned a lot from this experience. In terms of preparation, I tried to share the resources I had with my partner before we got the speech materials. I had the speaker’s bio as well as the slides for last year’s event. I immediately sent it to my partner so that she could get familiar with the speaker’s background and his speaking style. Teamwork is also important. Thanks to my reliable partner Lynn, we were able to finish preparing for the slides faster and discuss with each other when there’s something we didn’t understand. When I was interpreting, I also felt more in control compared to the last time. I heard more information and was able to react to and process the message faster.

  Though there were still some omissions or minor mistakes, it went well overall. When writing the self-evaluation, I also found myself able to dig deeper and spot more details when analyzing my performance.

  As a Gen Z (a relatively old one but still :-P), it’s in my blood that I like to use memes to release stress. So here’s a picture showing how I felt during this experience: I might look angry/ stressed, but I did put a lot of effort in it.

  But all jokes aside, although it’s really stressful sometimes, and I often whine about being so tired and want to die, I genuinely enjoy interpreting. The next time I get an interpreting assignment, I’d still be nervous, repeating the inner drama I mentioned in the beginning all over again, but after all that, I would still try my best to get the job done and enjoy every minute of it.