An Interpreter’s Summer Wish List

Around this time last year, I wrote a post on my blog about what interpreters do to keep themselves busy over the summer. There are usually plenty of options out there for those of us looking to do some professional development during the holiday break, and Summer 2012 is no exception.

Just a few weeks ago, Bootheando published an exhaustive list of what’s on offer for interpreters over the next few months, and if you’re still wondering what you are going to do with yourself during the upcoming low season, I highly recommend that you go over to her blog and check it out.

As usual, I have a pretty long wish list of summer professional development goals of my own. Unfortunately, not all of my wishes will come true, since many of the events that interest me most are scheduled for weeks when I already have other commitments (and last I checked, those replicator thingees that look so good on Star Trek still won’t do living organisms).

These are the events I most regret not being able to fit into my Summer 2012 schedule:


InterpretAmerica’s upcoming 3rd summit, entitled “21st Century Interpreting: Staying Relevant in a Transforming World”, is shaping up to be even better than the first two editions (if that is at all possible).This annual event is quickly becoming the point of reference for the interpreting industry in North America, and I would love to have been able to hop across the pond to Monterey to check it out.

The dates for this year’s summit are June 15-16, which is next week already (!), and so I imagine it’s too late for anyone who hasn’t already registered to sign up at this point, but at least we’ll have Twitter to help us follow the goings-on from afar (the hashtag will be #IASummit).


Berlin is in serious danger of being overrun by interpreters next month, with a number of interpreting-related events being planned in the German capital. At the top of the list, there’s the “Interpreters for Interpreters” workshop scheduled for July 13, which looks very promising indeed. Program highlights include coaching, yoga, retirement planning and stress management for interpreters, and much more. I read the report and saw the photos of the last such workshop held a few months back and it looked like a good (and educational!) time was had by all.

Scheduled to take place just before that event, on July 12, is a day-long workshop looking at IT for interpreters, organized by AIIC Germany and offered by Ignacio Hermo (@ihermo, my partner in crime at @aiiconline).  And then, on July 14-15, AIIC will be holding its semi-annual Private Market Sector meeting, which I’ve never attended but am told is very much the place to be. Sigh …

As if those weren’t enough reasons to want to go to Berlin next month, the week of July 16-20 will see the city playing host to a German Language and Culture Seminar for interpreters. I understand the registration deadline is June 15th, so if you think you might be interested in attending, you’ll want to decide quite soon.


The highlight of my summer could easily have been a visit back to Canada (my home and native land), where the Glendon School of Translation in Toronto is organizing a Professional Development Series for conference interpreters. In Week 1 (August 6-10) of the Series, Glendon will welcome recent graduates of interpreter training programs. In Week 2 (August 13-17), they will host seasoned conference interpreters who are eager to take their game to the next level, or to add a new working language.

Both weeks will focus on language enhancement in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian. The instructors for the Series will be former Government of Canada staff interpreter Roland Sarot, former UN staff interpreter Lynn Visson, and former UN Chief Interpreter James Nolan. I’m told there just a few spots left, so if you think you might be interested, you’ll want to contact Glendon ASAP.

I’d also played with the idea of spending some time in Lisbon this August on another one of those excellent intensive Portuguese courses that they run at the CIAL language school (the Portuguese & Surf course sure looks tempting!), but it was not to be. To make up for it, I’ve already made a mental note to keep a week free in January 2013 for the next intensive Portuguese course for interpreters at the University of Lisbon.

From the looks of it, I am going to have to get into the habit of making more such mental notes, or I’m never going to get to do anything on my professional development wish list…


10 thoughts on “An Interpreter’s Summer Wish List

  1. Hi Michelle,
    I couldn’t help but notice you left a very important item out of this Summer Wish List: the very first ToT in South America will take place in Rio de Janeiro this July!

    Barbara Moser will be at PUC-Rio and the seminar will be on “Skill acquisition in interpreting: The theory and practice of feedback”.
    July 12-14, 2012

    On a different note, I was very disappointed when I saw your “Roman Holiday” post earlier this year! Initially I thought, “could I possibly not have noticed that you were in MY class all along?!”, but then I learned from the coordinator that you attended the second seminar. It would have been a pleasure to meet you in person.

    Best regards,

    • You’re very right that the Training for Trainers in Rio sounds very exciting. Unfortunately, there’s no way I could have made it over. I just have to hope that Barbara does something like it a bit closer to my home soon. Thanks for adding it to the wish list, anyway – there might be a reader out there interested in attending.

      In related news, I just found out yesterday that Daniel Gile will be repeating his Rome seminar in front of a new crowd in Helsinki this August. So it looks like there will be another chance for those interpreter trainers who weren’t lucky enough to be at his two seminars in February:

      It’s too bad we didn’t meet in Rome – maybe at a future training event?


  2. Arg, they are all so far from me… 😦 Well, luckily it will be winter here and, who knows, maybe potential clients are more receptive (fingers crossed).
    Hope the attendants won’t forget to use twitter to tell us how it is going…

    • Agreed! The InterpretAmerica summit hashtag is #IAsummit, so we can all follow the goings-on next week. I hear @aiiconline might be tweeting from Berlin. And we’ll want to watch @Glendontransl8 for news from Toronto in August.

      What would we do without Twitter? 😉

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  4. We all get at least one good wish a year. Over the candles on our birthday or when summer comes. We have also other options… On eyelashes, lucky stars, and every now and then, one of those wishes comes true. So what then? Do we just notice we’ve got a long list of other wishes waiting to be wished? As a young interpreter the only wish I have is to have the chance to prove that I’m ready, I can do it. I was just hoping that everybody would leave for holidays and it would have been my turn to work. Summer is almost gone. How is it going for you? Have you ticked all the items on your list?

    • I haven’t been able to do any of the things on this list this year, alas. I will have to get organised for next year, I guess.

      As to the possiblity of taking advantage of other interpreters’ summer holidays to break into the market, the problem is that there aren’t any conferences being held this time of year, so nobody is shopping for interpreters, new or otherwise. You’ll have better luck breaking into the market in the very high season – those two or three weeks each season when every veteran interpreter is booked out and so the clients decide to hire someone with less experience. All the best!

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