THE TURNING POINT
For the purpose of this text:
“A crisis is any event that is, or is expected to lead to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society. More loosely, it is a term meaning «a testing time» or an «emergency event».”
It is useless to be an Interpreter and turn your back on reality. Crisis is there! It is true and it hurts. In no way can an Interpreter be expected to be a “yes” person. The “yes” may come from the utmost professionalism and in adherence to rigid codes of ethics. But it is far from being a heartfelt YES. And it shows.
Whenever I write for this THE AVINC BLOG which is usually in Spanish, I question myself “How can I be true to my beliefs” in such deep and troubled waters? How can I write for Avinc and still be me?
Yes. The life of an Interpreter is a Rollercoaster as I once said. With all the thrills that you can think of. But the life of an interpreter is not always glimmering. An interpreter is many times faced with its own beliefs. Values are there always. And sometimes this strict ethical framework can become destructive, no matter how thrilling it may be. You can always spare an interpreter and that is a reality. The majesty of the Interpreter is the first to go down the drain! Have you noticed? Is your soul ready for the blow?
That is the case of CRISIS for a professional Interpreter. When you are faced with a reality that moves your most profound values and you are supposed to convey a speech that goes against your inner SELF…..that is the decision making time. It corrodes your soul, little by little, until it becomes unbearable. And so be it, you are at a Turning Point.
If you accept a job….you are hooked until it’s done. Ethicsprevails, followed by silence.
But if you don’t feel comfortable with the subject matter or the speaker….please don’t do it. Principles are non-negotiable!
It is time to make a decision. You either collapse, or you become a puppet, the first being more likely. “You either ride the wave or you abort takeoff” as sad as it may sound.
As a Venezuelan Interpreter I state that I have reached the turning point. This will be my last contribution to this wonderful Blog. If I should dare write again for this blog, it will be wandering the shallow waters. I will only write to share a story or give some advice. But only after saying my truth:
Until I am certain my mind is not being “used”, I will not practice Simultaneous Interpretation.
I will remain being a member of Avinc, but I will not risk what Avinc represents. It is an honor to be an AVINC member.
And I will continue as Public/Court Interpreter because I believe in our Constitution and Equal Rights. And I owe it to my Country.
Being an Interpreter still is a lifelong University! The ride of my life!
María Elena Pérez Pardi