Integrity Languages


Teamwork Before the Assignment Starts

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: June 8, 2016


Today, as I start the terminological research for this upcoming assignment, it’s time to start dialing up the teamwork too. For a start, there is the small matter of introducing myself to the rest of the team and sharing any resources I have found. On top of that, I had a nice call from the agency who are organising the interpreting, which was actually more to do with the book than Friday’s job but it’s always good to chat.


I am not the only interpreter to find that teamwork is a big part of the job. In fact, the next episode of Troublesome Terps is dedicated exclusively to booth manners. The fact that we could come up with examples of it working well … and not so well … shows that it is still an important topic.


But even before you enter the booth, a quick email, an offer to host term lists on a cloud account (with requisite data security measures and permissions) or even just a simple “hello” can make a big difference. We are all there to keep the clients happy and it takes all of us to do the job.


I love that fact that conference interpreting is a team sport. We rely on each other and clients will absolutely judge the success of the job based on their perceptions of whichever bit of the team they have heard and seen. So it pays to not just be on top of our booth skills but also to have good people skills.


Hold on, that means we are back to soft skills again. In interpreting, nice interpreters might not finish first but they finish best. And, at the end of the day, if our boothmates look good, we look good. Simple.

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