I am not Superman, I am Batman

Or maybe I should better say: I’m 80% Batwoman, and 20% Superwoman. 😉

I’m not a big comic fan, so my apologies in advance to all who take comics seriously if the analogy that follows seems a bit farfetched to you.

However, I have seen enough movies to know that Superman’s superpowers are innate whilst Batman’s are acquired. Where Superman has the strength to lift cars and stop bullets, Batman has gadgets that pull him up, a cape that doubles as a parachute, and a cool car that turns into a motorcycle – not to mention a top-notch trainer and a heck of a support system and partner in Alfred.

In that sense, I think of my interpreter self more as Batman than Superman.

There’s an innate factor, a born-with talent that allows me to process language and meaning in a way I, for example, will never be able to process math; a predisposition to multitask at the speed of light, and a curiosity that has always kept me learning and improving.

Of course, this talent needs to be cultivated into useful and actionable skills. That’s where trainers such as Batman’s and mentors such as Superman’s father come in. But that’s as far as the similarities – and the 20% Superman in me – go. Equipped with my talent and super interpreting skills but with no gadgets to put them to good use, I’d be like Batman walking the streets in plain clothes on a Tuesday afternoon: just another regular gal.

But, armed with interpreting technology, I’m as unstoppable and impressive as Christian Bale’s Batman.

When as Superman I could only retain one or two phrases, give me old-tech pen and paper and I’ll deliver whole (long) segments at a time.

When as Superman I could only whisper simultaneously to one or two people, give me the proper gadgets and I’ll be able to reach hundreds of listeners at once.

When as Superman I could only interpret in one time zone at a time, give me the proper online technology and I’ll be able to take your message global.

You get my point…

I think interpreters do indeed have superpowers, but when you see as in action, we’re certainly more like Batman than Superman – or the combination of both – which is like half the Justice League rolled in one.

Here’s how to work without interpreting technology: Read

Here’s how to to use traditional in-venue interpreting booths: Read

Here’s how to use portable interpreting technology: Read

Here’s how to run multilingual online events: Read

Here’s how to use interpretation in phone conferences: Read

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