- Posted by VoiceBoxer Team
- On 28 January 2016
We’ve been working with Mariana Hernandez a lot, and when she told us that she and her husband were visiting Denmark, we could not resist inviting her for a chat and a coffee at our offices in Copenhagen.
Mariana is an experienced interpreter with more than 15 years of experience, interpreting to and from English, Spanish, and French all around the globe. She has been working with VoiceBoxer right from the start, is very passionate about languages, and currently living in Budapest, Hungary.
Clemens: Where do you see interpretation nowadays? Doesn’t everybody speak English?
Mariana: That is a myth. Of course, more and more people speak English, but I am still surprised by how many people don’t. There are a lot of worlds to bridge through Interpretation, especially in countries where there still are educational challenges to address. A lot of people only speak their native languages.
Clemens: How about those who do speak English?
Mariana: I’d compare it to my situation in Hungary right now. People start talking with me, and I have to ask them to slow down and use simpler phrases, as my Hungarian is not perfect yet. It is the same the other way around. I might just start speaking English without noticing that I am speaking too fast and complex for the listener, leading to people looking at me with wide eyes.
I think that interpretation will always be important as we can’t expect people to learn so many languages so well.
Clemens: We know that simultaneous interpretation is really challenging. What is your opinion on what it takes to deliver quality interpretation?
Mariana: The interpreter has to be as prepared as possible. Ideally, the presenter gives you all the material he or she will talk about. Additionally, you do research not only to cover the presentation but any aspects that might be connected to the topic. For example, for the webinars that I have been interpreting through VoiceBoxer, I needed to get familiar with the different regions in a specific country and to acquaint myself with the slightly more obscure politicians, not to be caught off guard when they were mentioned. I need to be prepared and understand what the speaker means!
During interpretation itself, you stop thinking. You are listening and you are speaking, the rest has to happen without thinking. As soon as you get hung up on something you get completely lost. Another thing you want to make completely sure of is that you keep your opinions out of the interpretation. You want to make sure that, even if you don’t agree with the speaker, you convey his message faithfully.
Clemens: What is your experience with remote interpretation?
Mariana: I have tried a couple of different forms. With one assignment, I use a special software which unfortunately has some technical problems every now and then. I have also worked with Skype, but I don’t like it as it only allows for consecutive interpretation and that always feels awkward to me.
And of course, I’ve been working with you for a while now!
Clemens: What was your first reaction when first working with VoiceBoxer?
Mariana: I was really happy. I had heard about it, and I wasn’t really sure how it worked. As I mentioned before, I had worked with Skype at the time, and consecutive interpretation feels awkward to me. I always prefer to do simultaneous interpretation, as the other person doesn’t have to listen to something he doesn’t understand for such a long time before the message finally comes through. This allows me to do simultaneous, and I think that’s great!
Clemens: How was your experience?
Mariana: Let me explain it like this: Good interpretation should be invisible. If I was interpreting for two people in this room, I wouldn’t be doing a good job if they were looking at me. That is one of the reasons why I really like conference interpreting. You have many people looking at someone else and listening to him or her through your voice. It makes it easier to fade into the background.
I think VoiceBoxer is fascinating. In my opinion, it brings it to another level.
It feels as if I was not there at all! Additionally, the fact that I can discretely ask the speaker to slow down is a luxury. It simply isn’t possible in other forms of interpreting!
It also gives me great freedom, as it doesn’t matter where I am, saving travel-time and potentially money. I was actually in Germany for a three-week event, and I was still able to work on a VoiceBoxer assignment with people from a completely different region!
Clemens: What are your predictions for the future of interpreting?
Mariana: That is a tough question.
I think there is a great future for online interpreting. You know, we use to say that translators can work in their pyjamas and that interpreters always have to dress up. It might be that, in the future, interpreters can work in their pyjamas too! I am unsure whether that would be a step forward, though.
Visit Mariana at www.123precision.com