This is how the internal monologue went (picture the little angel on the shoulder): “You know, you really should start a blog. You’re into new media, you like communicating, you have plenty of views to share with the world – and hey, with all the time you spend waiting around in airport lounges, you have plenty of time to write!”
Then came the first objections (from the little devil this time): “Sure, I like new media and the social networks, and appreciate what they can do to spread messages and build community. But there’s a big leap from occasional tweeting and Facebook posting to becoming a bone fide blogger. And anyway, with so many illustrious, insightful bloggers such as Bootheando and In my words already on the scene, what could I possibly contribute to the debate?”
“You know,” continued the angel (or was it the devil? At this point it became a bit confusing), “Why don’t you just give it a shot? At the very worst, nobody will read your posts but your Aunt Trudy* back on the ranch. But you never know, maybe some misguided soul out there will appreciate what you have to say. And one way or another, you’ll finally be able to relieve that pent-up urge to shout your message out to the world!”
The decision to launch a blog having thus been taken, I naïvely thought the hard bit was over. But no, it had only begun! The whole blogging experience is proving reminiscent of pregnancy and childbirth: you spend nine months worrying about what those eight or so hours of childbirth will be like, and completely overlook the fact that the real work starts when that bundle of joy comes home and you suddenly realize you have a very long, very tiring eighteen years of child-raising ahead of you (or more, if you are a Spanish mother who can’t bear to kick her kids out when they come of age).
But I digress – those of you who decided to read a blog named The Interpreter Diaries almost certainly did not do so because you wanted to hear about the joys of motherhood.
What’s in a name?
Yes, the name – that was the next hard bit. What should I call my brand spanking new blog?
At this point I almost gave up again, the path already being so well-trodden by aforementioned illustrious, insightful, not to mention cleverly named blogs. And it’s not just blogs: Off Mic with Phil Smith, not officially a blog but a regular contribution to AIIC’s newsletter Communicate!, already offers entertaining insights into the world of interpreting. Interpreting has even been done in cartoons, as those who are familiar with the work of Benoît Clicquet (AKA Clic!) will know.
But no, I was stuck with it. I had decided to write a blog, and those who know me personally will be aware that once I’ve decided to do something, there is no talking me out of it. So I had to find a name and a voice for my blog and get on with it already.
That’s how The Interpreter Diaries was born.
Fine, you got your blog. So what’s it going to be about?
Good question. Interpreters tend to have many and varied interests and be involved in a wide range of professional activities, and I am no exception. This blog will reflect that.
The Interpreter Diaries will be about my conference interpreting at the European Institutions and on the private market in Spain. It will explore the ins and outs of my consultant interpreting for AIB, the Barcelona-based interpreting secretariat of which I am a partner. It will be about AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters, and its core messages of quality standards and professional ethics. It will also be about my work over the years as an instructor on the Master’s in Conference Interpreting and the Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Service Interpreting at the University of La Laguna.
The Interpreter Diaries will not be about translation, although I do some of that as well – again, there are so many good translator blogs out there, and I had to draw the line somewhere. However, it will undoubtedly have its bit to say about business travel (a necessary evil in the life of any interpreter), learning languages, and possibly many more things that escape me now but which my little angel and devil, and hopefully my readers, will be sure to bring to my attention.
But I see I have exceeded the maximum word length recommended for blog posts (curse all those online how-to guides for cutting me short just when I was getting started!).
So I will end this first post, thank Aunt Trudy and anyone else who may have made it this far, and say I hope to see you again here soon!
* I really do have an Aunt Trudy, she really does live on a ranch, and she is my friend on Facebook, so she might well be reading this – Hi, Auntie!