A ♥ for Language Blogs

A great idea came down from Translation Times earlier this week: why not have language bloggers share their favorite blogs with readers? With ideas like this, it’s easy to understand why Translation Times were ranked #1 on Lexiophiles’ 2011 list of Language Professionals Blogs. They even came up with a special name for the posts (see above) and are offering a free book for one lucky participating blogger (something tells me Judy’s MBA in Marketing had something to do with that last feature).

My contribution to this awareness-raising effort will focus on blogs that deal exclusively with conference interpreting. There are dozens that touch upon different aspects of interpreting from various angles, but I’m going to see if I can come up with a list of favorites that includes conference interpreting blogs only. Here goes …

1) BOOTHEANDO – This blog ranked #13 on Lexiophiles’ 2011 list and was the only conference interpreting blog to make the top 25. It is undoubtedly the standard-setter in the field. Its author, a staff interpreter at the CIHEAM, offers professionally-written, insightful, impeccably-researched contributions on all aspects of the field. What’s better, she’s a great communicator and born networker, as anyone who follows her on Facebook and Twitter (@blogbootheando) will know.

2) IN MY WORDS – This blog is written by a Brussels-based freelance interpreter for the EU institutions and a fellow AIIC member. She also happens to be doing her PhD in interpreting studies – a fact which can easily be seen in her posts, which show a depth not many can offer. The author’s take-no-prisoners attitude to the key questions affecting interpreters today, such as professional ethics, practice and standards, are of great use to anyone who wants to know more about these issues. I also find it personally enlightening to see how she manages to cover in a single post what it would probably take me dozens to address! (I am going to make “less is more” my new mantra). The Twitter handle for this blogger is @tulkur.

3) AVENTURAS DE UNA TRADUCTORA-INTERPRETE EN MADRID – This blog delivers exactly what its title promises: a personal, informally-written account of the life and times of a Madrid-based interpreter. Full of entertaining anecdotes and personal photos and videos, it’s always a good read. I only wonder about the “traductora” part, since I have yet to see any posts on translation… Twitter handle for this one is @aidagda.

4) COSAS DE DOS PALABRAS – This blog is the joint effort of two authors, one sworn interpreter and one conference interpreter. The latter is an assiduous reader of my own blog – which confuses me a bit, since as a former student of mine, she should know it all already! The posts on conference interpreting are complete and well-written. My only quibble would be that they are very few and far between! I would like to hear more from this blog. Twitter handle is @2paraules.

5) LE BLOG DE TIINA – Time to branch out a bit language-wise. This French-language blog is by another fellow AIIC member, this time Geneva-based, who is also a freelance interpreter at the UN and EU institutions. Although the author insists that her blog is “not just about interpreting”, it includes a series of informative and entertaining posts on the profession, complete with videos and photos. The posts, which I am told are also published in ASTTI‘s quarterly journal Hieronymous (although for the life of me I can’t find it online), are well worth the three-month wait in between.

6) DOLMETSCHER-BERLIN – This is the one blog I wish I followed more. It looks interesting and well-written, but since it doesn’t appear to have an email subscription function, and is also not on Twitter, it’s a bit off my radar. In my world, if it doesn’t show up in my inbox or Twitter feed, then it might as well not exist. RSS feeds just don’t do it for me. Must change that… Please, don’t make the same mistake as me and give this blog the attention it deserves!

7) TOLK FRANS – To round off my own language combination, I have to include a  blog in Dutch. So here it is! Funnily enough, it’s written by a Frenchman. Go figure. Anyway, it’s so well done that you would swear the author is a native. I understand he has a Dutch girlfriend – that might have something to do with it. The blog addresses a number of interesting issues for interpreters, such as passing the EU exams (which the author did just recently), learning new languages, Eurojargon… Again, I just wish the posts came more regularly. The author has just joined Twitter at @LeTolk.

8 ) DON DE LENGUAS – This is a radio blog that offers regular podcasts, many of which are on interpreting, so I think I can safely include it here. It’s produced by the Department of Translation and Interpretation of the University of Salamanca. I particularly like the interview with the author of Bootheando that they did as a surprise birthday present for her earlier this year! Twitter handle is @DonDeLenguas.

9) LOURDESAIB on YOUTUBE – This YouTube channel could almost be called a video blog. It offers a series of interesting, informative videos on conference interpreting as seen from every possible angle. New videos are added regularly, and are organized in playlists (on the European Parliament, the UN,  the European Commission, Interpreter Training, and more) to facilitate exploring. As a colleague of its producer through the professional association AIB, I know that the videos are extremely well-received among the interpreting community, which is why I would like to share them with readers here. The videos are disseminated via AIB’s Facebook page and Twitter feed at @AIBInterpretes. (In the interest of full disclosure, let me add here that I am the adminstrator of AIB’s Twitter feed and co-adminstrator of their Facebook page.)

10) And finally, in the “I -can’t-believe-there’s-a-blog-about-that” category, we have INTERPRETING EN POINTE, a blog about interpreting and …ballet! Apparently the author can’t decide whether to be a translator, an interpreter or a ballet dancer. I wish her the best of luck in all three as she decides!

And that’s it from me! I know I have missed some interesting blogs, but I have to stop somewhere. If you know of any more conference interpreting blogs that you would like to add to this list, please let me know. I’m always looking out for something new to read! And many thanks once again to Translation Times for spearheading this initiative.

Happy reading!

29 thoughts on “A ♥ for Language Blogs

  1. Hi, great post, I haven´t read all these blogs but I am certainly curious about a couple of them. Thanks for including mine, it is just a personal project and the “traductora” part is still lurking in the background. I work both as a freelance translator and interpreter, but I have to admit that there are already many blogs focusing only in translation, and that leaves very few topics that have not been explained a thousand times. Interpreting, on the other hand, offered me more options. There are great blogs on interpretation but not as many and my blog is really a way to communicate my personal insight and professional experience.

  2. Thank you so much, this is wonderful! These blogs are all completely new to us — how exciting! That was, of course, the idea: to find new blogs. Thanks for your sweet post. 🙂 We can’t take credit for the idea. It came from Dagy’s boyfriend, who’s our idea-generating-machine.

    • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share our favorite blogs. For me, this post is one way to give something back to the blogosphere, after everything I’ve learned from fellow bloggers in the short time that I’ve been involved.

      You know, it’s not necessary to offer free draws to get bloggers talking about this kind of thing – I’m sure we’d all jump at the chance! 😉 I look forward to reading some of the other blogs written in this series. Please let me know if you decide to publish a list.

  3. Dear me! This is a superb summary of the interpreting blogosphere and I am really happy to see so many familiar “faces” and friends on the list! I’m also glad to see a growing number of interpreter-bloggers willing to stick their heads out of the booth and share their experiences…we can learn so much from each other that it’s a shame that this knowledge is sometimes hidden away. Thanks for your nice words about bootheando and keep on blogging! You know I’m a big fan of The Interpreter Diaries, not only because of the quality and relevance of the posts but because of the author’s unflagging spirit !

  4. I’m thrilled with all A ♥ for Language Blogs posts. It’s really good to be a part of this “wave” of discovering new interesting places on Internet. 🙂 I didn’t know about most of this blogs. I’ll try to find some time and read them all.

  5. Hi again Michelle and thanks for mentioning my blog, even if it’s not about interpreting only. And don’t forget everybody: chose the Interpretation tag or possibly the Traduction one. The rest is futile – although probably entertaining – ramblings on which sometimes have an interpretation dimension en passant.

    ASTTI has a website – http://www.astti.ch – but I’m afraid their bulletin is either on paper only or then exclusively for members. I write for their quarterly journal and that’s what made me start a blog in the first place. They made me find out I enjoyed writing. I also enjoy leaving a permanent trace somewhere instead of just verba volant, if you see what I mean…

    I’m starting a series on interpreters in fiction so watch this space: my next text will be published in September!

  6. Hi Michelle,

    This list is just great… As a translator who has only ever done a tiny bit of consecutive interpreting, I’m so pleased to have found not only your blog but now the list of other interpreting blogs. There’s so much we can learn from each other as two sides of the same profession.

    Thank you also for posting the link to my favorite literary blogs! That’s very kind…

    I’ve signed up for your feed now and look forward to reading you on a regular basis now!

  7. Hello!
    It is such an honor to be in that list! I read your blog almost every day. You do a great job here!
    Thank you so much, I’ll keep doing my best! =D

  8. Hi, I am really enjoying your blog. Just found it. I would like to know if you may be interested in posting one of your articles on my new blog. I need to devote more “real-estate” on the blog to conference interpreting. Please visit and let me know. Ewandro Magalhaes recently provided a link on my blog to one of his recent articles about the topic and I thought you may want to do the same.

    I am also interested in getting your information which I am sure is on the AIIC website as I have a client that is planning a meeting in Barcelona in a few months.


    Maria Cristina

  9. I’m reading up a bit late as usual :-). This is a great list! And thanks for including my blog. You really manage to promote all of the blogs in a great way, really makes you want to read them.
    I was whining a while ago about so few interpreters blogging. We still can’t compete with translators but the interpreting blogosphere is really growing!

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