Positive experience when interpreting for a friend

I have so far mostly whined about interpreting for friends. But today I had a very positive experience. It started as soon as I introduced myself (of course I mentioned that I earned my living interpreting, not just helping out on this single occasion), the doctor was positively surprised and said that she had never experienced that kind of luxury.

After some 20 minutes of translation, the doctor realized (AND told me!) that she had not fully understood exactly how my friend experienced the different symptoms, and that that was an important piece of information for the diagnosis! What can I say? WHY isn’t it compulsory for all authorities in all European countries to make use of the service of community interpreters.

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