"Why are we afraid of the audience?" This was the key issue of the training conducted by Mrs. Ecaterina Godoroja. Indeed! Why some interpreters do not feel comfortable in front of a large audience, lose their self-control, forget what they want to say and wish to run away and hide somewhere where nobody can see them, maybe even in the simultaneous interpretation booth. Some interpreters feel more comfortable in that little "cage" than in front of people, even if they lack the basic conveniences.
The answer was given by a young woman and a passionate trainer, who is brave enough to do something new for us, the people who feel comfortable when making errors in their speeches, when pronouncing the words unclearly, when truncating words and making the listeners guess what exactly they meant to say. This is our society. It is true, but we are not just some ordinary people who do not care how they communicate with others. We are interpreters! Our goal is to speak clearly, to pronounce the words correctly, and to help people who speak different languages understand each other.
Therefore, we need training. Indeed! We need training in pronunciation, choosing the right accent, pronouncing correctly some sound combinations and some words, which are difficult to pronounce, given the unusual combination of vocals or their frequent repetition, etc. Our famous national poet Grigore Vieru said once in a radio interview that "Children should learn the right pronunciation of sounds at school, just like students who study a foreign language at college." That's it! If we failed do this in due course, we should do it now, when practicing this profession.
Our trainer Ecaterina engaged us in such exercises. First, we pronounced some syllables, which was followed by tongue twisters. We had fun while trying to pronounce these tongue twisters. At the same time, we noticed our deficiencies in some cases, when trying to reproduce a speech at a higher speed in order to keep up with the source speaker.
The last part of our training was directly related to the interpreter’s profession. We were tasked to reproduce a conversation between some very "exotic" people and to preserve its key message, without taking notes, and relying just on our own memory. This exercise was very similar to the game “Chinese whispers” (BrE) or “broken phone” (AmE). The lesson learnt was "Train your memory! Keep enriching your vocabulary", because the moment comes when you have to dig into your mind and find the most surprising words.
We wish to thank Mrs. Ecaterina Godoroja for this wonderful training, which was very entertaining and very useful for all who attended it.
President of ATP Moldova