I have been a trainer for as long as I can remember. Teaching is another great passion of mine, and In 1998 I created an innovative Professional Development Series for conference interpreters. For about 12 years I led a series of intensive, hands-on workshops in Brazil and in the U.S. More recently, these courses were conducted under the auspices of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), where I obtained my Master’s in Conference Interpretation. The first workshop sold out in just three days.
The workshops were the first of three steps leading to full proficiency in interpretation. Students were also put through a supervised training module of about six months. The third and final stage was a merit-based internship program that allowed budding interpreters a risk-free opportunity to hone their skills in real-world events, under strict supervision, for an average of another 120 hours
This unprecedented approach, initially seen with suspicion and frowned upon by many, proved to be extremely effective and made it possible for dozens of students to safely break into the market and establish themselves as professional interpreters. That, of course, gives me great pride as a trainer. Many of the colleagues currently on the market in Brazil have attended my courses at some point.
In 2010, following my appointment as Chief Interpreter in the UN common system, I had to drastically reduce the number of classes taught. But deep down in my heart I am and will always be a trainer, ready to share what I have learned and help pave the road ahead to those that will follow.
If you run an interpreter’s education program, I would certainly appreciate an opportunity to share my experience as a guest trainer or speaker. You are also welcome to use my book or any of my articles as teaching materials. I ask only that credit be given where credit is due.