If you didn’t think remote interpreting was profession that required compassion and warms the hearts, think again!
In times of crisis, such as famine, war, or natural disaster, society seem to show two extremes of human response. Panic and solidarity. Panic breeds defensive survival behaviors and typically blinds us to the needs or issues of others around us who may be going through the exact same struggles at the exact same time in the exact same place. Empathy and solidarity, on the other hand, make us aware of just that. There is a power in the awareness that one is not alone in their needs or struggles during national or international crises. Part of that power is shown when one struggling reactive family, becomes a thriving proactive neighborhood.
But how does this relate to interpreting? Simple! Our job is vital to the heath and information needs of a nation as diverse as the U.S.
Imagine learning through your child or neighbor that the country is on lockdown because of a potentially deadly virus going around, and not having a way to obtain official information in the language you best understand? Just relying on social media memes and people on the street? Not being able to communicate with your doctor or the staff handing out Covid tests? Having all the information is part of what has kept so many people from throwing themselves into panic and pandemonium. This is where performing our jobs as interpreters with a full sense of compassion and mission becomes crucial. The clients can hear that over the receiver, despite repeating only exactly what is being said from one person to the other.
Of course it’s the vital standard to interpret only what is being said, as it’s being said, and not add your own words or flair. However, there is a sense of mission one must carry into the field of interpretation. This sense of mission will inform the importance you give to an honest and heartfelt interpretation, no matter what the scenario.
In the video shared below, you will get an idea of just what I am talking about.