¡Gracias a la alumna María del Mar López Alvero y a Niki Boehm por su generosa contribución a la cátedra!
Where did you study?
University of Athens (German Language and Literature), Interpreting Stage by the European Commission and the European Parliament, Marc Bloch University (ITIRI - Translation, Interpreting),
Intérpretes y Traductores Salamanca (Curso Intensivo de Interpretación)
How long have you been interpreting?
To which language(s) do you do it?
English into Greek, Greek into English,Spanish into Greek, German into Greek
Do you belong to any interpreting association?
Do you have any special field?
International Affairs, Euro-Mediterranean Relations, Parliamentary Diplomacy
Do you have any particular work that you would like to mention (due to its complexity or that you liked a lot or that required a lot of preparation)?
One of my favourite assignments (if one of the most stressful) was the work I did (mostly consecutive interpreting) during the official visit of the President of the Hellenic Parliament in Chile in 2007. Speaking in front of a crowd is not necessarily my favourite thing in the world (I prefer the privacy of
the booth), so it was very challenging (deep breaths helped) to have to interpret various times in front of really big crowds. As terrifying as that was, I also felt elated. I remember getting the “interpreter’s high” as I like to call it. It is to this day one of my fondest memories.
If you could go back in time to your first steps as an interpreter, what would be the advice that you would give to yourself?
To read more in my mother tongue. I focused so much on the foreign languages that I was
learning that at some point I had to make a conscious effort to improve my mother tongue.
Do you prefer consecutive or simultaneous interpretation?
I prefer simultaneous.
Which characteristics do you think every interpreter must have?
To be able to literally “Keep calm and carry on” no matter what is thrown your way. It may not be easy when you’re starting out and everything seems too overwhelming, but it does get better with time and experience. And to read. A lot. On all kinds of subjects. In all of your languages.
And what about the “must-have” elements that anyone should have at the time of interpreting (in a conference, for example)?
Not an element exactly but: Invest in good headphones! Bad headphones can really wreak havoc on your performance. And always be bold enough to approach the organizers and ask for any available background documents or speeches (if they haven’t been provided). And if ever you make a mistake (which will happen), don’t let it affect the rest of your performance, correct it if you can and move on.
Any advice to the ones who are about to become interpreters?
A lot of people give up on interpreting early on, because they can’t seem to manage the stress. If they really love interpreting, my advice to them would be to not give up, with time and experience, interpreting can be less stressful (although never really completely stress-free). It can be hard when you’re starting out, and there will be the odd colleague who will give you a hard time, if not downright bully you. But you stand to learn from every single experience, good or bad. Use that
experience to your advantage.