INTERPRETERS AND GOSSIP NEWS THE “LIGHT” AND USEFUL SIDE OF SUMMER
Have you ever talked to interpreters about what they do to be so knowledgeable or informed about facts or events happening all over the world?
Most of them will probably tell you they read the newspaper whenever they can if not every day or that they have a monthly subscription to one magazine specialized in economics, geopolitics and similar.
These are definitely some ways to keep up to date on news or to dive deep into specific subjects or topics which are often neglected or carelessly covered by journalists and media more in general.
However, almost none of the above mentioned interpreters will tell you they may also have a look at gossip magazines, one of those you often find at your hairdresser’s or in the dentist’s waiting room.
In Italy people tend to associate gossip readers to the idea of being someone shallow and not so smart; I am not saying gossip news is on the same level as economic, political or geopolitical news but when you work as interpreter or translator you should never underestimate any kind of source of information.
Let’s make a practical example: in May I was lucky enough to be one of the conference interpreters of a smart and brilliant consultant, who was giving a lecture about human brain and how it works when it comes to make a decision related to giving money to charities.
He was showing a slide where the face of a man looked really similar to Tiger Woods’, the famous golf player, and his comment was something like: “Tiger Woods, a popular and well-known character I would not recommend to have as your ideal husband though…”
The speaker was witty, hilarious and had told other jokes before mentioning Tiger Woods and this is why it was extremely important not only to convey the piece of information in itself (Tiger Woods, popular golf player) but also the irony embedded in the last part of the sentence (Tiger Woods as one of the worst husbands because of his cheating behaviour).
This was proved by his pause after this comment to make sure the audience had understood what he meant and (hopefully) laughed.
I was translating this chunk and I immediately got what he meant and was able to convey his irony through my tone of voice (and not only my words) thanks to an article I had read in a famous Italian gossip magazine.
In this case, we are speaking about a sport celebrity, who cheated on his ex-wife with several women and whose misadventures were also published by influential newspapers like Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, etc.
Anyway, it shows us how unexpected topics or information can come up in every interpreting assignment and in order to be ready to cope with such unexpected events, I think we should pay more attention to funny as well as serious articles.
So, what is the best season to focus more on lighthearted news? Summer of course, and even this year, between my favourite thriller and contemporary fiction books, I will do my best to keep an eye on the hottest gossip 😉
I am sure I am not the only interpreter who happened to translate gossip-related information and I would enjoy hearing similar experiences from my peers and friends.
What is the gossip news you will never forget thanks to your job?