Thursday, September 10, 2009
Betty and Bright
Two interpreters are assigned to our subteam. "Betty" and "Bright" have been as necessary as the oxygen we breathe over the past two-weeks. They have supported us through countless meetings, speeches and presentations to Presidents, Vice Presidents and Directors of Municipal organizations, Foreign Affairs Offices, Chambers of Commerce and Colleges in Sichuan Province. They have also helped us to navigate everything from the food we eat to the hotel room "air-co" to a visit to the local hospital (more on this one later).
Betty has a degree in English from a University in Xi'an. Bright is a double major studying Law and Translation. He is in his final year. His dream is to go to a world-renowned interpreter school following graduation. His top three choices are located in Monterey, California, London and Sydney.
Bright has been doing the majority of my translation. He and Betty work late hours and weekends to translate slide presentations to Simplified Chinese. In meetings, Bright will interpret my speech, the questions from our clients and my responses. During our first week, I let Bright know that I would be improvising rather than working from a script during a 25-slide presentation, he softly revealed in his British-English, "If you can help me contain the nervousness of my heart, I think I can do it." . As I am perfecting my timing of speech, he is perfecting interpretation of my IT terms and colloquialisms. We are becoming buddies and I think he is actually starting to understand my sense of humor -- go figure.