Good tidings

Summer 2013

Regular readers of the blog will know that summer is a less active period for me when it comes to blogging. Other activities, also known as family life,tend to take over. With three darlings out of school, and two extra darlings who join us for the summer, and an additional four ponies, three dogs, a cat, in-laws, and lots of friends around the house, academic life, writing, or just time in front of the computer is very limited. This year the usual summer silence has dragged out well into the new term. Rest assured that the silence is not final though 🙂

New home, new job and…

There are however lots of changes in my life and hence the reason for the silence. I am happy to share these news with you now, as things are clearing up (and darlings are back in school). First of all we have relocated back to Sweden this summer. After another summer in boxes, I’m now back home ready to start flying (not really looking forward to Swedish autumn, but there we are).

Second big news; I have taken up a part-time position as lecturer at the Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies at Stockholm University. This means that I have the privilege of teaching interpreting both in Norway and Sweden. My course TOLKHF continues as usual at the University of Bergen, and this term I will teach part of the introductory course to Interpreting and Translation. I have a few lectures and a few seminars to plan so I hope to share some ideas with you and also hopefully get some feedback. I’m slowly getting used to leaving freelance life after almost 20 years of freelancing. I will not completely stop interpreting – it’s too fun, and I need to stay in touch with the business both for my students and for my research.

And finally, my thesis is submitted! I handed it in just before summer and just before our move. Now I have firm indications that I will defend end of November. I’m extremely happy to be done, but naturally, when something as important is no longer part of your life it’s a little bit empty too. In case you’re in Bergen end of November, let me know and I’ll give you all the details.

7th EST Congress

Apart from these more important changes in life I have also participated in two great events. This week I attended the 7th congress of the European Society for Translation Studies where I held a presentation on the results of my thesis, I got good feed back and it was a really nice conference. I met @jonathanddownie in person, very nice experience, an amazing amount of energy, and an interesting thesis in the making. Jonathan co-organized a panel on religious interpreting a very under-researched area that professor Harris has written about on several occasions on his blog Unprofessional translation. My friend Adelina Hild was there too and gave some impressions from her ongoing research on religious interpreters.

I also had a chance to chat with Pekka Kuijamäki who is behind the project of translation and interpreting in WWII Finland (blog here). Very interesting project that I think professor Harris has blogged about too. I was also happy to meet Céderic again. First time we met was this spring in Mons at the conference “Le Nord en Français” and he gave me the inspiration to a previous post. This time I got to listen to a presentation of Céderic’s research project on how intonation affects the understanding in interpreting, very interesting project and an extremely ambitious data collection.

The EST congress is an exhausting exercise with more than 400 participants (record for Germersheim, the organizing university) and over 20 parallel panels. The best thing about EST though is that ”everyone” is there, so you get to socialize with most people in Translation Studies i Europe and beyond, very nice setup. Congratulations to the organizing committee at the FTSK at Germersheim too, who managed this huge event.

InterpretAmerica

This spring I submitted a proposal for InterpretAmerica and was accepted to their Interpret-Ed sessions, a ten-minute-talk that was be web-streamed and recorded for publication on their home page. Splendid opportunity to talk about one of my findings that I still cannot get to grips with. And absolutely daunting!

InterpretAmerica was a great opportunity to meet and network with colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic (and a few from this side too). Brandon Arthur is just as nice in real life as he seems on Street leverage, and imagine I had to cross the Atlantic to meet Ian Andersen from SCIC interpreters :-). It was also great to meet Stephanie Jo Kent again, and to get to know Cris Silva, and finally meeting Andrew Clifford @GlendonTransl8 in person, and many, many others.  And yes, I got to meet and talk to the Babelverse guys Joseph and Mayel, we had a good discussion, I’m not totally convinced yet, but I’ll admit they want to listen to the profession, their FAQ page is new, and they seem to have listened to a lot of the questions that came up in Reston and are looking to answer them.

The whole event was extremely well-organized (great work Katharine and Barry!) and with a nice open atmosphere. Apart from the keynotes and panels (the program is available here) there were also thematic workshops. Although the workshop on social media was extremely tempting, I decided to go to the workshop on vicarious trauma, separate post will follow on that. At the speaker dinner I got to sit next to the charming Saima Wahab, author of “In my father’s country”, she was supposed to be the second keynote, but could not make it last-minute. I was very happy I got to talk to her at dinner, I’m reading her book now.

If you want to listen to my topic that I cannot really come to grip with, you can watch it here:

I can also recommend that you listen to the other Interpret-Ed talks. It was very interesting to hear both Cris, Victor, Michelle and Stephanie. Victor’s approach to managing medical interpreting is absolutely amazing.

Now I’m looking forward to an intensive autumn with students to teach, courses to plan, articles to write and of course a thesis to defend. And some interpreting, what about you?

 

My free-lance office(s) or the benefit of wifi

Andy Bell, the cycling translator has shown his workplace on at least one occasion. As an interpreter my obvious work space is in the booth or at somebody else’s office. But as you know, interpreters prepare a lot, and with my PhD writing on top of that, I clearly have an office too. Or several rather… The truth is that although I’m well aware of how important it is with a room of one’s own (right, Virginia ;-)), I don’t live as I preach. I’ll give you a short walk through my different workplaces:

Bedroom i.e. morning and evening office as well as printing area (printer to the right).

Dining table i.e. shared office space when working with colleagues. (Yes it does happen!)

Guestroom i.e. my PhD library with small workstation.

Kitchen table: Puppy watch/Working lunch

Sofa corner, also scanner corner. Good for an afternoon coffee while scanning. Also perfect for reading assignments (background articles and books, prep reading for assignments etc.).

And for the occasions when I need a standing work position (and cook dinner).

I think you get the picture by now. I move around a lot during paper work and writing. This is due to space constraints, time constraints, but probably also to my restless soul. To my dear supervisor I would like to say – in case she worries – occasionally, I do manage to get some uninterrupted time to read and write…

Hello! Nice to meet you!

Welcome to my new platform. We’ve known each other for quite some time now, so I think it’s only right that we should be properly introduced. My name is Elisabet Tiselius, I’m an interpreter and a PhD student in Interpreting Studies. I interpret into Swedish from English, French and Danish, and I also interpret from Swedish into English. I work as both conference and public service interpreter. But right now, I’m mostly busy writing a PhD thesis on simultaneous interpreters’ development of competence at the University of Bergen, Norway.

I will not dwell on my background, in case you are curious you can read more about me in these different blog posts; About me, Of course I am Science, Me and my hats‎, Versatile blogger award, Being a travelling interpreter, mother, spouse and friend, My life five years ago 

I have been blogging about interpreting and PhD-writing for a quite a while now, four years actually. When I started blogging, I decided to do so anonymously. I had several reasons for doing this. First of all, I did not want my family to get involuntarily involved in my blogging. Not that there was a very big risk, since I did not blog much about my family. But nevertheless it was an important reason. Secondly, I did not want to compromise my customers. Not that it was very likely, since I don’t write about directly customer related issues, but I just didn’t want to take the risk of even creating that suspicion.

As I blogged, I imagined my students as potential readers, and I know many of my students also read my blog. But over the years, I have discovered that many of my colleagues read my blog, and also interpreters from other parts of the world and other contexts. The professional network I have built thanks to my blog has become more and more important, and although most of you know me by name already, I have found that I cannot continue to blog anonymously and still make a professional impression.

Thanks to Meg and Marta at Websites for Translators I have also gotten help to refresh my blog and my homepage. Check out my Swedish homepage here, in some not too distant future it will have an English translation too.

Of course I am science, too

Have you seen the twitter hashtag #IamScience? An initiative started by Kevin Zelnio and with the aim to share stories of how scientists became what they are. Kevin published his post end of January, and since then researchers have shared their, in most cases, less than straight path to science. Kevin Storified #IamScience here and stories are also shared on Tumblr. And Mindy Weisberger’s collected quotes in a video.

Although, my path to science was by no means as rough as some of the stories that have been shared, it was far from straight either. I have touched upon parts of my background in earlier blog posts, but here I will share my way from high school to PhD scholarship a short story of some 20 years. This post is mostly for my students, who usually believe I had a career as straight as a highway in the US :-).
My senior year in high school was very tough. I completely lost my drive, and just couldn’t force myself to go to school. Unfortunately, I had moved out from my parents’ that year, so not much of parental control either. My grades started declining, and by the time I reached graduation my grades were mediocre. Luckily for me since I came from being a good student, at least I got my diploma. Today, my children laugh so hard at the fact that their mother had an (equivalent to) E in English. They also laugh hard at pictures from this period since I was experimenting a lot and my hair changed between colours such as blue, red, Bordeaux and black.

I did graduate after all, but I swore I would never go back into a classroom ever again. I started working, first various unskilled jobs, and eventually with horses. The only thing I wanted to do at that time was working with horses, and I took a job as a groom. My horse career was not brilliant, but I was happy doing what I did. Personal life was worse though, my father passed away, and I ended up in an abusive relationship which cost me most of my friends and almost the relationship with my mother. On top of that, I wasted the savings my parents had entrusted me and ended up indebted.

After four rather dark years, I took a course in logging with horses. I spent a year learning horse carriage driving and logging, and I finally left the guy. But horses is a tough business there are thousands of talented and skilled young people (girls) around, who will work for nothing. Although, I had managed to get a few really nice (though short-term) jobs, the truth started to dawn on me – since I was neither rich enough nor talented enough – I would most likely spend the better part of my youth working very hard with other people’s horses without ever being able to own one myself. And I still had my debts to pay.

Usually, in everybody’s life there is always someone special, a person that really made a difference. In my case, I’m happy to still have him by my side. When I met my husband, I was as deep down as somebody can be without using drugs or being locked up. I still have no idea what he found in the selfish, shallow, big mouthed surface I exposed in order to protect my empty, hurt soul. Luckily he saw behind that. When I met him I was between horse jobs, but worked double shifts to pay my debts, nights as a security guard, days as an office hand. He would listen for hours, but also challenge me: “Was this really how I wanted to spend the rest of my life?” With him I figured out that I loved teaching and he reminded me that despite my E in English, I was actually fluent in both English and French, wouldn’t teaching be a good idea? It was really hard to swallow. I had sworn I would never set foot in a classroom, and here I was discussing a career that would put me in a classroom for the rest of my life! I’m not sure I would have done it hadn’t it been for an extended dead line to apply for the teacher training program. Vite fait, bien fait.

I’m not sure when the change took place, probably somewhere in my first, fairly chaotic, year. I was still working two jobs on top of school, and it was not easy to adapt to academia. But somehow I realized I could not get enough of learning. I loved learning new stuff. As I approached the end of the 4-and-a-half years of study, one of my big concerns was to leave university life and look for a job, I was not, as many of my friends (and quite opposite my high school experience) tired of studying. But then another opportunity opened up, I could go on to interpreting school and do a master in conference interpreting. I jumped to that, not that I didn’t want to become a teacher, but because it seemed fun to try something different. After a year of interpreting school and with a Master’s in Interpreting, I had to start working. I started working as an interpreter, but went back to university part time, immediately. At first because my teacher training degree was a Bachelor of Education and I wanted a Bachelor of Arts, and I thought it could be fun to write papers in French and English (yes, I’m serious), later because I wanted to write a Master’s thesis.

Both teacher training and interpreting school went fairly smoothly, but my papers and theses have been another laughing stock in the family. English – two terms instead of one, French – three terms instead of one. Master’s – six (!) terms instead of two. But hey, I have worked and had three children at the same time.

When I met the director of studies to discuss a possible Master’s thesis, she asked me: “Would you be interested in doing a PhD?” I couldn’t even imagine myself doing a PhD, PhD students were those nerds who didn’t have a life and were digging themselves down in something as uninteresting as “The use of “so” in newspaper texts”. I, for my part, was just pursuing something I thought was fun at the moment, but of course the director of studies sow a seed.

And here I am, I’m hopefully soon done with my PhD thesis, I would love to continue researching, I love teaching. I’m not particularly young anymore, but when I look back, I don’t think I would have been as happy and as confident with what I’m doing had I chosen a shorter or more direct path. And of course, I am science too.

Day 13 An interpreting week

A week of interpreting is usually very varied, since I did not interpret this week (I try to finish a presentation for a conference, and don’t succeed very well), this is probably an average week for a free-lance interpreter:

Monday: No interpreting assingment – preparing for a conference Thursday and Friday.
Tuesday: Continued preparation in the morning. Last minute court interpreting assignment, 2 hours in the afternoon.
Wedenesday: Community interpreting at a local health care center. The afternoon continued preparation for the conference on Thursday and Friday.
Thursday and Friday: Two day conference for a European Works Council. To get a glimpse of a conference interpreting day have a look at aiic:s article on that. I think it has a self-righteous tone but it also gives a certain idea of what it’s like.

Any free-lance interpreter will tell you that no week is the same, certain weeks are desperately calm and if you have a rare language you will probably have to work with other things as well. Ohter weeks you could have gotten three assignments for each day. There is simply no way to forecast.

This post is part of a list, 30 days of interpreting. You can view the whole list here.

Me and my hats (there’s more to it than interpreting)

Next topic on #IntJC will be on professional identities. How do you juggle your professional hats? And can you be credible in your different identities when you have several different ones?

Since I will not be able to participate I’ll give you my own experiences here, in case you need some background reading 🙂

When I finished high school in Sweden it was important not to give future employers the impression that you were a job-hopper. Your CV needed to be consistent. If not the same student job since age 15, at least within the same sector, preferably giving you relevant work-life experience for your future training and career. Need I tell you that already here I was already heading in the wrong direction?

Some ten years later life seemed to be on the right track from a consistency perspective. I was near the end of teacher training and had had the same student job for the past four years – I could see my future the coming five years… ten years… fifteen years… and I felt… claustrophobic.

Luckily, I came across the most interesting, fascinating job where it didn’t matter that my professional background looked more like a patchwork than a tightly knit plaid. Even better, the patchwork was an advantage! So perhaps not surprisingly I’m juggling many hats with pride. However, sometimes I get the feeling that for, let’s call them, more consistent people out there my different hats sometimes raise professional suspicion. Am I really serious? Well, I hope to prove here that I am probably more serious than most – otherwise you cannot juggle.

First question to be addressed on Saturday: Tell us about your professional hats: how many do you have? What are they?

I’m a researcher in interpreting (which in a way makes me an eternal student). I’m an interpreter and my interpreting hat is split into conference interpreter and public service interpreter. I’m also a teacher, I have taught horseback riding, horse carriage driving, languages and interpreting. I also see myself as a blogger and twitterer, although, admittedly I blog and tweet about interpreting and it’s not really professional.

Second #IntJC question: Of all the hats you wear, which are the most/least loved by you? The easiest/hardest to accomplish?

I love all my hats! Maybe my love for interpreting is a little bit stronger since it has allowed me to carry on with the rest of my hats. It is a very large and flexible hat.

Third question: How do the majority of the clients see you (which hat/role)? How do you want to be seen?

Well, I cannot say that I have clients who see me as a researcher, not yet anyway. My university hat interacts with other university employees and fellow researchers – today it takes 70 to 80 percent of my time and I hope that most of them see me as researcher. My interpreting clients see me as an interpreter of course. I struggle with my students, who are in a way clients too, for my interpreting students I want them to see me as an interpreter, but I think the teacher hat imposes itself so much on them that they have difficulty seeing me in a booth.

Question four and here we come down to nitty-gritty: What are the factors behind the uneasiness some feel about defining themselves as a professional with many hats?

It is this consistency again – for me as a researcher I am sometimes viewed as less serious because I exercise the profession I am researching. This means for some that I am biased in my study of the profession, that I will let my background beliefs influence my results. It is also so very easy within humanities research, especially in a small research community, to undermine results simply by hinting that they may be biased by the researcher’s own world view.

Needless to say the sword is two edged. As an interpreter I sometimes get negative reactions from colleagues because I have “crossed the line”. I have started to research an area impossible to research. Interpreting skill is innate and there is nothing more to it. Nurture your skill instead of digging into impossible studies. Nevertheless, I’m convinced that interpreting is both researchable and even that interpreting benefit from research.

For my interpreting clients it sometimes feel as the most difficult part is to prove that I am a professional at all, that I’m not a language student, that this is what I do for a living, that I have actually gone to university to master a skill. Or, like one doctor said after I had interpreted a medical appointment: So, you are really a professional interpreter? (Me: Yes) Well, I have to admit it’s much easier when you are around.

Question five: The million dollar question. What would you suggest as tactics to stand up for your professional selves and feel confident?

This is where the seriousness comes in. I try to do the juggling with my hats with as much seriousness as possible. I cannot “ad lib”, I cannot hope for the best, I cannot “see how things go”.
As a teacher I have to be extremely good at respecting deadlines, planning classes, giving feed back – because if I’m not I will loose my confidence and the credibility from my students and colleagues eyes.
As an interpreter I strive to be a good, well prepared, pleasant co-worker and languages service provider (and always arrive well before time), because if I’m not I will loose my confidence and the credibility from my clients.
And as a researcher I try to present minutely planned and methodologically sound studies where I take great pain in testing and reporting my methods, because if I don’t I will loose confidence and my fellow researcher will so easily be able to say: “Oh, you know it’s because she’s an interpreter – she may actually have let her own opinion influence her results.”

Slightly off topic: What was my life and interpreting jobs like five years ago?

Yesterday the patent translator published a post based on a letter his son sent him five years ago, but that was planned not to reach him until yesterday. The letter inspired him to look back five years. His post inspired me to do the same.

Five years ago we lived in Paris, and I was seriously starting to consider doing a PhD in interpreting. Interpreting jobs had picked up after the blow in 2004 when the Swedish conference interpreting market went absolutely dead. In 2004, The Swedish government decided they should spearhead their English only plan for the European Union. They only used the absolute minimum requirements for interpretation and as a result the market collapsed. Many of my colleagues decided to change careers. In 2007, the marked had picked up, and the fact that I lived in Paris also improved one of my unique selling points (proximity) as they liked to call it.

I did not have any teenagers at home, my oldest was 10! We still had an au pair girl living with us, which sometimes is challenging, but mostly really nice both for children, parents and career. I had the great benefit to ride once a week in central Paris, sometimes very tough (old French pedagogy) and sometimes mesmerizing. Other than taking interpreting jobs I also taught French (yes! me! a foreigner! in France!, but I have an FLE teacher degree mind you) and had I blogged in Swedish about Paris and bilingualism mainly. This blog started a little over a year later.

I thoroughly liked Paris and could have stayed for much longer, but we were homeward bound in the summer and I had to decide whether I should apply for a PhD or not. I knew that a PhD would require a lot of work and not necessarily give any more job afterwards. But I also freshly remembered those years after 2004 when I was happy if I got two days interpreting jobs per month. For me – 10 days is a good average – 10 days of assignment means another 10 days of preparation, and considering you also usually travel to and from your assignment and need a few days for admin and stuff, it means that you will fill up you month both financially and work-wise. Two days, however, all but bankruptcy, and the few days I would get in court or for other assignments (I wrote earlier about the depressing situation forinterpreting jobs in Sweden. Thanks to the best husband in the world and also thanks to the wonderful parental benefits in Sweden (I had days saved up in my benefit scheme), I could stay in business.

I celebrated my birthday that year (an even one) on the night train towards the Pyrenees on our first skiing holiday in France (and a few months later with a grand party at the Swedish club). And in the autumn I enrolled in a PhD program on bilingualism with a focus on simultaneous interprting. When I look back 2007 was a good year, but what can a year in Paris be other than… perfect.

Off topic: ABCs of travelling

Both Musings from an overworked Translator and Thoughts on Translation have had this list. I thought it would be fun to go through as well. It was really a trip down memory lane. Here we go:

Age you went on your first international trip: If you don’t count when I was six and took the 24-hour-cruise to Helsinki (doesn’t really count as an international trip in Stockholm, it’s like Belgians going to Luxemburg), it was when I was 11 and went with my mother and godmother on a road-trip to Norway (strangely enough THAT was considered abroad). First time outside Scandinavia was at 12 when I went to Paris. English-speaking country was not until I was in my twenties, same thing for first time outside Europe.

Best foreign beer you’ve had and where: Belgian of course, in Belgium. Almost any Belgian beer monastery beer is the best. I don’t like Kriek (the Cherry one) and I don’t like when they mix it with syrup (yes they do!). But Duvel is great, as is Leffe, and Grimbergen, and Chimay and… The sad thing about discovering Belgian beer is that it’s totally impossible afterwards to just “have a beer”.

Cuisine (favorite): Oh, difficult – probably French and Belgian (No, they’re not the same), but I really like Italian too, and nothing compares to the Swedish fermented herring (surströmming).

Destinations-favorite, least favorite and why: Favorite destination I don’t think I can choose between London, Paris and Chicago. Granada in Spain was absolutely fantastic too. And Bergen in Norway is wonderful. I have recently discovered Tunisia which is also a definite favorite. Least favorite – although there are other parts of Egypt that I really like, Kairo was a bit too much for me, the mass of people, the poverty, the chaos – very hard to find the charm there.

Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: The carnival in Stavelot, Belgium, where I was recruited onto one of the teams was so much fun. And flying a helicopter over the Grand Canyon was extraordinary. The Perigord is sometimes so beautiful it hurts. But I had an almost religious experience looking at a black stone beneath the Forum Romanum.

Favorite mode of transportation: Train! It’s so sad that trains in so many countries are being less and less cared for by politicians and infra-structure actions. And it’s so great in areas where the train really works well like France. One of my best experiences of a train ride was with Southern Rose and her family on the night train from Paris to Venice.

Greatest feeling while traveling: I like arriving more than traveling.

Hottest place you’ve ever been: Everything that is above 25 Celsius is hot for me, so to me I have been to too many hot places. But I guess it must be Singapore or Bangkok. Probably Singapore in July and I don’t think that’s their hottest period. But Nevada was pretty hot too as I remember.

Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Bali. The friendliness and service level was amazing without being ridiculous. My most recent best service experience though was the hotel Klosterhagen in Bergen where I ended up unannounced at 1 a.m. due to a misunderstanding with my usual place. Otherwise my experience of service is usually that it is something that hotels, airlines and others brag about to justify their exorbitant prices, but which seldom are delivered because the people they hire are probably paid too little to really care.

Journey that took the longest: Stockholm to Rome when I was 14, it was over 36 hours on the train. The journey that was mentally the longest was probably returning from a skiing holiday when the cables were stolen from part of the railway tracks (yes I know, it sounds like the wild west) and the train was 6 hours delayed. When we arrived in Lille at three in the morning the car park where we had our car was locked. At 5.30 am we were finally driving home (another hour and a half). Considering we started at lunchtime the day before it was a very long trip from the French Alps to Belgium.

Keepsake from your travels: Only photos. Of course I bring stuff back from time to time, but nothing particular, or nothing that I collect. But I try to bring back food stuff that I cannot get at home.

Let-down sight-why and where: I was in Leningrad (St Petersburg during the Soviet-era) when I was 15. Although it was amazing in many ways, I cannot say that that trip stuck as a particularly beautiful or pleasant. The Hermitage was sadly worn down and everything and everyone looked dirty and tired.

Moment when you fell in love with travel: I think it came gradually. I don’t think I’ve ever seen myself as a traveler, but as I fill out this list I realize that I have travelled a lot. There are many places I haven’t been to, though.

Obsession-what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: There are many horses in photos from my travels 🙂

Passport stamps- how many and from where?: When I was a kid you got stamps for Europe as well, now you don’t any more so for every new passport I get fewer and fewer as most of my traveling goes on inside Europe. In my current one it’s the US, Canada, Thailand, Egypt and Tunisia

Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: It’s not really an attraction but Madonna Inn in California was definitely different.

Recommended sight, event or experience: The stars in the desert. I cannot think of many things that beats that.

Splurge-something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: Books. Photo books if I cannot read the language of the country in question. But I always come back with books.

Touristy thing you’ve done: Oh, everything, like going on the tourist buses, throwing coins in Fontana di Trevi, caressed all sorts of statues with the hope to come back to that place. I mean if you are a tourist…

Unforgettable travel memory: Many. But having a cup of tea in a store as big as a shoe box in the bazar in Luxor is probably one of them, or looking out over the Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul from a horse back, and diving in Bali on our honeymoon.

Visas-how many and for where?: US, Canada and Egypt. No residence permits only tourist visas. It’s my third time around with a Belgien ID-card though.

Wine-best glass of wine while traveling and where?: I would lie if I said I’m a wine connoisseur. I can tell a really bad wine from a drinkable one, but that’s about it. Just as for beer, you get spoilt after living in France, and it’s harder after that to just “have a glass of wine”. But the best glass wine is probably the one you have with your friends.

eXcellent view and from where?: Here I would have loved to say from Kebnekaise, highest mountain in Sweden, but when I made it to the top it was wrapped in a heavy fog. So I literally (and luckily) only saw the back of my friend in front of me. Otherwise I like towers: Sears tower, Tour Montparnasse, Eiffel Tower , London Eye. And the view of Mt Blanc from Geneva is also worth mentioning. It looks just as on the Toblerone chocolate.

Years spent traveling: I have no idea. Shorter holiday trip every year since I was 12. I have only lived abroad in France (18 months) and Belgium (total of five years in different periods). I have been to longer trips/courses to England and the States. But since I started traveling for work as well, I have lost track completely. Although I can say that I have never backpacked neither on inter-rail in Europe or on a trip to Asia. My backpacking experience limits itself to hikes in the Swedish mountains.

Zealous sports fans and where: Surely baseball in the States. Just imagine that you don’t know when the game will end. Or, in theory you know, but how long it will take to get those innings… The only time I went (years ago in Washington DC), “luckily” it started raining and the game had to be postponed. As you can imagine sports is not my favorite pastime. Well, except for riding then.

I’ll add the three letters of the Swedish alphabet.

Återvänder gärna till (I’d like to return to): Fort White, Florida; Charlottesville, Virginia; Stavelot, Belgium; and France of course.

Än så länge har jag inte besökt (I haven’t been to these places yet): Australia (I should be ashamed of myself since I have one of my best friends have lived there for 20 years), South Africa, Botswana… (so many places south of Sahara I’d like to go to), and South America, another continent I haven’t been to (!), Israel, Greece, Turkey and lots of other places of course.

Öar jag tycker om (Islands I like): Gotland (one of the most charming islands I know), Azores (well worth visiting), anywhere in the Swedish archipelago, and Bali of course.

Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate that. To all of you I would like to wish the best for the new year. I hope this will be a year filled with continued discussions via blogs, facebook, twitter and all the other platforms. I am looking forward to more #IntJC and other interesting discussions. I also hope that it will be a year of many occasions to connect outside the virtual world. Personally, I will work hard on my thesis, try to be a little bit more regular with my posts and commitments. Right now though, I will disconnect and spend well deserved time with my loved ones. See you next year.

Versatile Blogger Award

versatile-blogger

Life Overseas, Voice Link and Boots in the Booth passed the Versatile Blogger Award to me. Thank you so much! Sorry I was slow to take up the baton. But here we go.

In case you have missed the Versatile Blogger Award the rules go like this:

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post – Well that’s done already.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

Seven things about myself that are not generally known to my blog readers I guess.

• The first is my favourite, people are usually so surprised that they don’t really hear what I say when I say this: My first professional training was horse logging. I also worked both with heavy horses and warm blood for a few years before changing careers.

• Two. I have said this before, but I would like to tell you anyway. I was born and raised monolingual. I have learned my languages in school. Languages and interpreting are of course closely linked, but it is well worth repeating that bilinguals are not born interpreters and interpreters are not necessarily born bilingual.

• Three. I’m a dog AND cat person (and horse), so the poor critters have to share the same roof at my place (well, horses usually get their own accommodation).

• Four. Don’t invite me for potluck, I really don’t like it, I’m useless at finding out something to make and be compared to other’s cooking talents. My cooking talents are nil, I don’t like to cook and I’m not particularly interested in home styling either. That said – Please invite me! I love to be invited home to people who set wonderful tables and excel in cooking. And I’m just as happy if you just invite me over for pizza take-out or a bag of crisps. I also really like having people over, but often opt for the easiest possible cooking, think stew or cheese and wine.

• Five. I like to be nicely dressed, but find shopping for clothes rather boring. I do not see the charm of walking from shop to shop just browsing. I hate to spend time looking at myself in a fitting room mirror. I bored after five minutes at a website with clothes. Put me in a book shop though (bot virtual and IRL) – chances are I will spend hours there and exit financially broke, but rich in stories. Last time at Waterstone’s my husband had to pull me out after two hours.

• Six. I have a near perfect sense of direction. I probably have a pathfinder somewhere among my ancestors. I cannot point out North intuitively, but put me anywhere and I will be able to navigate safely, works on sea too (at least inside skerries).

• Seven. I’ve always wished I was as well organized as this interpreter. Truth is – I’m the total opposite. Before you think I’m completely unreliable I have to say that I’m always early to meetings, and I’m always prepared. My colleagues often compliment me for being so organized. But that’s not the whole story. I have countless stories of forgotten shoes, clothes, computer chargers, books I was reading – basically everything that is not crucial for the mission. To flatter myself I explain it with – “it’s only the mission that counts”. But I’m afraid there’s more to it…

3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
Wow, 15! I’m afraid it’s not going to be only those I discovered recently, and considering I’m fairly late here, some of you risk already having received the award, but here we go:
1) 2Interpreters – Promising blog of two young interpreters graduating from interpreting school in Heidelberg
2) Daniel Greene – American Sign Language interpreter, lots of interesting posts.
3) Le Tolk – Jonathan, who also blogs in Dutch (does that count as two?)
4) Francois Grosjean’s blog – Two professors in my list. This is the first one. Interesting posts about bilingualism.
5) Language and Intercultural studies at Herriot Watts University – I think more schools should have blogs. There is Don de Lenguas too of course. I cannot think of anyone else but please challenge me!
6) Maria Cristina de la Vega‘s musings – Great woman and with lot’s of interesting interviews with other interpreters.
7) Mox! – Funniest in the interpreting/translation blogosphere (some competition from Boots in the Booth though :-). Now with book!
8) The Booth inhabitant – Young, ambitions interpreting student, mostly in Spanish :-S.
9) Tolmacka who blogs in Slovenian, but also luckily sometimes in English
10) Swedish Tess – We need some Nordic representation here too.
11) Tony Rosado – new interpreter in the blogosphere, nice! And not only interpreter.
12) I really enjoy reading professor Harris reflections.
13) I don’t read German, but I just love Caroline’s doodles.
14) I read Tiina’s blog too seldom (another Nordic, by the way), very well-expressed thoughts in French.
15) And Lionel, the Liaison Interpreter, who started the #IntJC, not a new acquaintance but very suitable for the award. Also blogs in French look at his pictures!

OK. Now on to my fourth and last task:

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.
I’m sure it will take a while. Writing this post as innocent as it may look took ages! But it was very nice to go through my blogroll again, and yes, I will update the blogroll on this page as well.

Thanks!