Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Interpreting en Pointe

Eh… what?
Yes, “Interpreting en Pointe”. Why not? Oh wait. You are asking me what all this is about. Ok, fine, let me explain it from the beginning.

So… you know, I am studying Translation and Interpreting and I am in the middle of my training to become a conference interpreter… or something like that. Why do I say it this way? Well, simply because I have not decided yet if I will become an interpreter or a translator… or both. I will have to make that decision in September. The fact is that I truly WANT to become an interpreter, but I am WAY better at translating documents. This means that during summer I will have to follow a very strict schedule to make my foreign languages (French and English) a lot stronger. I have thought that a blog written in both these languages would really help me; or at least, my writing skills and vocabulary will improve considerably. In addition to this, I will have to spend some hours a week practising with real speeches in both languages, so that I will not feel lost when the next academic year begins.

But wait, what does the “en pointe” thing mean? It is French for “on the tip of the toes”, and yes, I am talking about ballet shoes. But what has ballet to do with all that? Well, they say that interpreters always have an unusual hobby that helps them relax and forget about their job. Some of them sing operas, some others play piano or different kinds of flutes, and I even met one that went scuba diving. Some of them say that these hobbies even help them feel more comfortable while interpreting. Why? Well, let’s see this from the musical point of view: people who study music are able to multitask, their heads are better organised, and many of them are more used to listening to foreign languages, aren’t they?

So for me, this random hobby is ballet: my passion and my love. Because I am in LOVE with ballet and I cannot help feeling free and amazingly happy when I dance. Because it helps me forget everything and get rid of the stress that the interpreting booths cause. Because it is wonderful. And because at some point I have found myself interpreting with my headphones on and my ballet slippers on my feet at the very same time.

On Tuesday 31st May (today, or yesterday, because it’s 3:50) I did my simultaneous interpreting exam. I will receive the results on the 2nd June. These are probably among the most important results of my life, because depending on my mark, I will decide whether or not to become an interpreter and whether or not to make this summer adventure. I hope the results are satisfactory and if so, I will see you here, talking about headphones, booths, speeches, tutus and ballet shoes... and Tamara Rojo.


Yes, I love her.

And you should too.


  1. yay! loving the sound of this blog :) so proud to be your first follower!

  2. Thank you very much!
    I love your blog, by the way! ^^

  3. Hey! I really like what you are writing! I am a student in interpreting too and I also need something to distract myself from time to time from the interpreting mania, which can be really exhausting! Maybe ballet is the right thing for me too :)

  4. Thank you very much! Yeah, interpreting can be very exhausting, but we have to admit that it is fun!

    You should try it then! Ballet is very relaxing; I always distract myself from the stress that the booths cause. And an hour of hard exercise is always good for our bodies! ^^

  5. ¡Qué casualidad! I found myself quite intrigued by the title of your blog on Bootheando. See, once upon a time and in another life, I used to be a ballet dancer. I performed with English National Ballet amongst other companies. When time came to hang the pointe shoes up - mainly due to a history of repeated injuries - I paused and decided to reflect on how my skills could be transferred to an equally challenging and fascinating profession. Ballet had of course allowed me to evolve in a highly international environment and hence pick up 3 languages along the way, but I am deeply convinced it shares many more traits of personality with interpreting. Self-discipline, high levels of multitasking, team-work, memory - those who think ballet dancers tend to be thick have obviously never had to learn a three-hours long Swan Lake in the space of two hours - self-control, ability to cope under insane amounts of pressure, to name just a few. In a couple of weeks, I'll be starting my Masters in Conference Interpreting at ETI, let's hope this proves me right! Good luck in your studies and don't give up on something you really want to do, after all, like for anything else in life, resilience is the key!
    PS: and you're right, Tamara Rojo rocks!

  6. @Anonymous
    Thank you so much for your post!
    You're absolutely right. Ballet needs lots of discipline and years and years of training; in fact, with ballet you never stop learning. You can always go further and further, but you know more of this than I do, as a former professional dancer (how cool is that!).

    Good luck on your Interpreting Master! I'm sure that your dancing experience and travels will help you a lot on that.

    Thank you so much once again; it's always great to meet people with the same interests as mine.


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