METM19 presentation

Ask your terp: how interpreters can help maximize clarity and efficiency 

Sarah Cuminetti, Turin, Italy 

As professional interpreters, we seek to enhance our clients’ work by helping them convey their message clearly and efficiently, just like translators and editors do. But translating words is just the tip of the iceberg: it is the interpreter’s job to advise and consult on a number of aspects that are not directly language related but that may still make or break a conference, a presentation or a big event – not to mention our reputation as language professionals. We interpreters tend to forget that clients may be at a loss when asked to choose between consecutive or simultaneous, or where to place that (ugly!) booth, and they may simply not see why the interpreter should sit right next to their big star on stage. We as professional interpreters know what conditions we need to perform at our best, unlike our clients who may not have a clue: you might be a champion at consec, but if you cannot hear the speaker, it simply won’t matter at all. So let’s be less self-referential and more proactive, because things may not work our way, the right way, unless we share our knowledge – concerning logistics, timing and even costs – with the client. It is in our best interest: when an event is a success, our client is happy – and a happy client is a loyal client. 

In my talk I will share tips for fellow interpreters, and other language professionals interested in branching out into the interpreting business, on how to ensure our expertise is put to good use while guaranteeing quality and cost-effectiveness. We will also look at how to market our expertise across the board, capitalizing on all the knowledge we possess but may not be fully aware of. It may have little to do with words, but ultimately it matters just as much.

About the presenter

Sarah Cuminetti is a quality-certified professional conference interpreter. She has translated Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates and bestselling authors. She is a Governing Board member of Assointerpreti – the Italian National Association of Professional Conference Interpreters – where she is in charge of social media and communication. She is also a member of AITI and IAPTI and is an ATA Associate Member. She has worked extensively in the art sector, and she specializes in book presentations, diplomatic studies and international policy. She has given several talks, most recently at IAPTI 2018 in Valencia. She is (very) active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.