Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Things Interpreters Don't Like to Hear

In lieu of an update, here's a short list of things that speakers say that are a sign for interpreters that things are about to get pretty dicey:
  • I will now quote Shakespeare.
  • I will now quote the Bible.
  • I will now recite an inspirational poem.
  • Let us pray. (This one is a little easier because for years and years I listened to my Abuelita say beautiful prayers before lunch, but it’s still hard to make a prayer sound beautiful on the fly.)
  • I will now tell a really funny joke. This joke is SO FUNNY. You won’t BELIEVE how funny this joke is. I sure hope it translates. (Yeah, it only does about half the time.)
  • I will now blow through my PowerPoint slides at the rate of 100 slides per minute. (Okay, they don’t actually say this. But they do it.)
  • Let's watch a video. I shot it myself with my camcorder, so the sound quality isn't very good.
  • Oh, I don’t need to wear a lapel mike. I’m sure you all can hear me just fine, right?
  • People tell me I usually talk really fast, so let me know if you need me to slow down. (Something I’ve learned: You simply cannot control how quickly or slowly you talk. You can do it for maybe a minute, no more. I’m sympathetic to this one, because I tend to speed up when I’m excited or nervous. Court reporters have told me to slow down and I feel mortified when they do, because I consider them to be my kindred spirits.)
  • Let me tell you about each one of the parts of this extremely complicated device. In great detail.
  • I will now read this prepared speech word for word as quickly as I possibly can. (I guess they don't exactly say this, either.)
  • We’ll have a working lunch before our next meeting starts.

1 comment:

Snickollet said...

I love this list. It made me laugh a little and cry a little. Mostly laugh.

"I will now quote Shakespeare."

HA! Ha ha ha!!!