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Interpreter for Construction Industry

In April 2015, I was hired to interpret a 3-day training session for Laticrete International. A group of reps traveled from Portugal to Bethany CT, to participate in a dynamic training session with expert staff members, learning about some of Laticrete’s application systems.

 

Through intensive classroom sessions and multiple hands on demos, the participants learned about the specifications of products, surface preparation, primers and finish coatings, in addition to a factory tour.

 

Through the use simultaneous interpretation throughout the entire event, the participants were able to be properly trained in their native language (Portuguese), have active involvement by asking questions pertinent to their specific needs, and gain valuable knowledge about new coatings like the Spartacote system.

 

The vocabulary was technical and the schedule was full, but my colleague and I worked hard to ensure that the international guests enjoyed the same privileges and had access to the same information the other more English proficient participants had.

 

Laticrete’s headquarters has an awesome environment, co-workers really seem to treat each other like family, they are innovative, extremely knowledgeable about their industry, and have a global presence that continues to grow. I am looking forward to helping them again in future events.

Performance Plastics

Portuguese Interpreting for Plastics Manufacturer

Portuguese Interpreting for Plastics Manufacturer

So another assignment took me to New Hampshire, a 2-day assignment assisting a group of Brazilian engineers, during a training session at the multinational Saint-Gobain Plastics, in Merrimack, NH. Talk about nerves… I was asked if I felt confortable with the subject matter of “plastics” but was given no specific info as to what would be discussed. Would they use technical terminology? Would they discuss aspects of the machinery? The process? The materials? Business Strategy? Management? Situations like this one, are always tricky, imagine all the money that goes into R&D and New Market Development… who wouldn’t be reluctant to open up all of that information to a random interpreter they never met before?

All interpreters and translators should know that most of their work must be done with a high level of confidentiality; some are better at it than others. Herein lies the value of dealing straight with your interpreter instead of going through an agency: when dealing straight with the service provider, you can count on the fact that you are evaluating that person who will be working with you, when using an agency, you are trusting an agency, who supposedly trusts their freelancers. The thing is, an agency is not only looking to hire a trustworthy interpreter, but they also are looking to hire one who charges them a little less and thus allows for a greater profit margin, I’ll let you figure out which one turns out to be more important for them.

After some negotiation they agreed. Meetings started slow with some safety overview, which was pretty simple and allowed me to get a sense of what they did and how they did it. That was followed by a short visit to the plant floor where I saw the machines and learned some of their names. Next we went into a series of meetings where I drew on my knowledge of some general mechanical terms while at the same time I learned some new ones. I confess that it was confusing when I heard that they were buying a calendar from abroad (at this point my interpreter’s brain sounds an alarm and in a millisecond I think about how unlikely it is that they would discuss the purchase of a calendar – who buys a calendar these days? -, and worse, why would they decide to buy it from a different country?), so I stopped and asked them to describe the calendar for me, as they described this huge multi-ton machine, my ears adapted and then I could hear that the proposed purchase was of a calenDER machine; ah, that made a lot more sense, I could then go back to my Portuguese Interpreting.

Calender Machine

Calender Machine

 

In the next few hours I learned the names of some of their products, materials, abbreviations, etc. I learned the difference between fusing and semi fusing, carrier belt and film, substrates, oven, dispersion, splices and thermal mapping. At the beginning of day 2 I was asked to stay for an extra day as they found that my services were key in ensuring their goals for this training session were met.

 

Once again I finished an assignment feeling like someone just paid me to gain some knowledge of a very specific industry. Thanks Saint-Gobain, I hope this was the first of many.

 

Complexities of text-messaging are more than what meets the eye.

New Trend on Sight Translation of Text Messages

I was recently asked to translate a few words, which apparently included some offensive language. No problem, I jumped right on it and translated, giving some insight about the cultural use of those words, but in general just translating the word from Portuguese to English.

 

A few days later, the same client asked me if I was willing to depose as an expert witness on the case involving the foul language previously translated. With some skepticism of what could be asked of me, I requested to be provided with a full version of the conversation that included those words. The client did as requested, and as I looked through the conversation, I saw that more than half of the supposed offensive language was simply part of a regular chat between two adults who were indeed using offensive language, but not in an offensive manner.

 

Furthermore I came across lots of misspellings, sarcasm and shorthand, which were all very circumstantial at best. Considering the context and perceivable tone of the conversation, I was able to advise the client that more would be needed in order to prove misconduct in the workplace. My advice was well received and they researched and found additional supporting evidence, which ultimately helped them win the case.

 

In situations such as these, experience comes in as a valuable asset. Had I not known what the intended use of that translation was, I would never be able to raise a red flag. Having worked on both sides (plaintiff and defense), I gained enough experience to pick up on “small” details that make a “big” difference. Any bilingual can translate, but it takes a professional linguist to pick up on nuances and deliver the appropriate message.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this brief note, and I hope I have helped you to make a wiser decision.

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Escort Interpreting for the Vice-President of Brazil, Michel Temer

Mario Garnero, president of Forum das Americas & founder and chairman of Brasilinvest Group, will host a luncheon in honor of Brazil’s VP Michel Temer during the conference “BRICS in the World: a strategic and political view” on April 7 2014, in New York City. Organized by Forum das Americas, it will gather an exceptional group of leaders, entrepreneurs, and academics to discuss the next steps for countries, companies and investors at a time in which a new order is formed on the international system. The conference is part of the “International Financial Forum” (April 7 and 8), organized along M&A Advisor. Temer will discuss the strategic role of the BRICS in the world, focusing on the most pressing issues regarding potential relationships within the group and outside, seeing the US as a likely partner. Forum das Americas, presided by Mario Garnero, is Brazil’s premier “think-tank” on democracy, regional economic integration and sustainable development. The M&A Advisor was founded in 1998 and has been presenting, recognizing achievement of and facilitating connections between the world’s leading mergers and acquisitions, financing and turnaround professionals. This was certainly one of the highlights of my entire career as an interpreter! Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/  

Sports Illustrated

Consecutive Interpreting on Live TV

Sports IllustratedConsecutive Interpretation (Portuguese <> English) on Live TV on Sports Illustrated Channel. 

In a press tour for the UFC event in New Jersey (UFC 169), I served as a simultaneous/consecutive Portuguese interpreter for the Interim World Champion on the Bantam Weight Division, Renan Barão.

I was not told I would be interpreting on live TV nor was I given any type of script prior to going on camera, but in a situation like this I am happy for being able to count on my experience to help me through this assignment.

The following day we attended a conference at Madison Square Garden in New York City, to participate in a lively discussion of NY laws that prohibit professional MMA fights in the State. During this assignment I was interpreting simultaneously for Renan Barão and José Aldo, while we listened to presentations and discussions by key figures of the UFC and US lawmakers.

What an experience!

 

About the event:

Live TV Interview with UFC World Champions

SI Now: Dominick Cruz & Renan Barao on being UFC 169 main event

On Wednesday’s SI Now, UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao discuss being top billing for UFC 169 and putting on an exciting fight to represent the lighter weight divisions.

Read More: Sports Illustrated