This is ridiculous. It's five past ten in the evening and I'm ready to fall into bed. Granted, I did get up at a quarter to seven this morning (morning shift at work, urgh), but I still shouldn't be this tired. I suspect it's my usual post-interpreting fatigue. For some reason, I'm always more or less shagged out after a bout of interpreting, and the degree varies according to intensity and duration. What's odd is that today's gig wasn't that long (about 40-45 mins in one go), but still left me knackered. Huh. It could have been the pace that did it, though. The speaker spoke at breakneck speed and had an accent that occasionally caused a bit of trouble (in terms of some words coming out a bit garbled), so I had to focus very hard. The fact that the subject was legislation didn't help, because it really isn't my strongest subject. (Even with notes, I'm afraid I'll get councils, commissions, cabinets and colleges of commissioners mixed up, simply because I have about half a second to decide on which is the correct one, otherwise I start to lag. Lag = death when it comes to simultaneous interpreting. This goes double when you have a fast speaker.)

In other news: there are no other news. No interesting news, anyway. ;)
*burp* After work today, my two workmates and I went out for dinner courtesy of the Big Boss. I'm now stuffed to the gills, and though I want to have a cup of coffee right now, I'm afraid it might cause me to burst. My stomach is so full I still feel slightly ill despite having eaten over three hours ago.

My things for tomorrow are mostly packed (as well they should be: my train leaves at 6.22 a.m.), but I need to sort out my papers. I also need to do the dishes, because if I don't, they'll be greeting me at the door when I return on Saturday afternoon. I don't want to do either, because I have no energy left.

Argh, I need to go to bed soon, because I have to get up at five at the latest. Do not want! And I don't want to sit around trying to kill two hours of stopover time, either. Thankfully, I have an hour of free time between arriving and the registration at the seminar, so I'll probably have a shower and try to squeeze in a half-hour nap.

I'll try to do a run-by update or two at the hotel, but I can't promise anything. I'll most likely end up collating a monster post afterwards, like I did last year.
Today I learned something new about myself: when I try to speak Norwegian, everything I produce is prosodically Danish. Pitch, inflection, rhythm and occasionally even lexis.

Now, I know I can't speak Norwegian properly, and that my attempts generally are 80% Swedish with Norwegian words thrown in, but I wasn't aware of having such a strong prosodic bent toward Danish. (Which, by the way, I don't speak properly either.)

I have the Ukrainian guest researcher to thank for this new insight into my already strange linguistic behaviour. My interpreting teacher had signed us up as test subjects in one of his studies on... something. I think it was pauses in interpreting and retelling of short narratives. (As an aside: the researcher has one of the most fascinating accents I have ever heard. It's Ukranian/Russian and broadly Australian at the same time.)

I was asked to listen to and retell three short narratives in Finnish, then three narratives in Swedish, then simulataneously interpret three short pieces from Finnish to Swedish and three from Swedish to Finnish. I was also asked to retell a short Norwegian piece in Finnish and a short Finnish piece in Norwegian. This was when things got interesting. See, like I said, I don't speak Norwegian. I understand it fairly well, yes, but I certainly don't speak it with any degree of fluency. The researcher urged me to at least try, so I did, but the end result was more interesting than accurate. (One of my main problems with producing anything resembling spoken Norwegian is that it is too close to Swedish pitch- and melody-wise, so I over-compensate and end up speaking bastardised Danish instead.) He also asked me to tell short stories (two minutes) about a place I had never been to, in Finnish, Swedish and--wait for it--Norwegian. At this point, I was so bogged down in languages that I agreed. The Norwegian story ended up being the longest of them all (clocking in at about three and a half minutes), and when I finished, he was grinning broadly. "This is fantastic," he enthused. "Your Norwegian is almost exclusively Danish prosodically, even when it comes to the lexis." I apologized and repeated that I didn't really speak Norwegian. "No, no," he protested, "no need to be sorry, this is brilliant. This'll make for great research material." Err, yay? He also commented on how much he loves the sound of Danish, and that my speech had been pleasant despite being wrong prosodically.

I'll be meeting with him in April as well, to contribute some more material, and he was so grateful it was almost embarrassing. "I've exploited you so much, so feel free to ask for any favours." (Yes, he said 'exploited'.) We'd briefly discussed other languages during the test, and I'd mentioned I'd really like to pick up Russian again. He told me I'm free to come to him for refresher lessons or conversation if I so wish, and I may well take him up on that offer, provided I have the time.

Wow. That was long and boring and geeky.
empyreus: (Sharpe)
( Feb. 20th, 2007 10:06 pm)
Today's been a bit of a bumpy ride, really. The interpreting exercises were much more challenging than they usually are, and I felt completely wrung out after a half-hour Swedish-to-Finnish consecutive turn. Mind, the subject was legislature, something I'm not all that good at in either language. I nearly gave up once or twice, having snarled myself into a sentence or misunderstood where the speaker was going with a particular point, but I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. My hands shook the whole time, but I held on to my trusty clipboard (great when you're taking notes while standing) so hard my hand hurt and managed to look calm.

After the lecture, I had to bike to one of the local video stores to rent a few Swedish movies to watch with my students tomorrow, and as I prepared to bike back to campus to attend another lecture, I heard an ominous 'thunk' as I mounted the bike and began pedalling. Yes, the back tire was flat. I swore heartily, then remembered there was a bike repair show nearby and wheeled the bike there. Long story not-so-short: I had to walk back to campus, attend three quarters of the lecture, then walk back into town to get my bike before the repair shop closed and also pay 40e for the pleasure of having the back tire changed and my breaks adjusted. (To be fair, the repairman also changed the brake pads, something that really needed to be done.) And boy, had the brakes been adjusted. I'm used to the front brake being really loose, meaning I have to brake hard to get it to work, and when I biked off home, I assumed the brakes would still be a bit loose despite having been adjusted. (They were a bit floppy when I'd last had them fixed at a different repair shop.) I was wrong. When I had to brake at a zebra crossing and grabbed hold of both brakes rather hard out of habit, I nearly went flying over the handlebars. The front brake is now so sensitive you barely have to close your fingers around it to have the brakes slam on. Takes some getting used to.

The weather was so cold that my legs felt like they belonged to someone else when I finally made it home. My cheekbones also hurt fiercely, despite the fact that I wore my scarf pulled up over my nose and cheeks. It's only about -18°C here, but the wind chill makes it murderous. And they've promised -18° and 4 m/s for tomorrow, which equals -26,5°C of wind chill. My class(es) begins at 08.15, meaning I have to get up really early, and runs to 15.15. Do not want.

However, all was not bad today, as I also managed to write almost 500 words of challenge ficlets (for the old requests, you'll be glad to hear) and played around with ideas for the new ones. And the lentil stew I made when I came home turned out excellent. And I found a terrifically geeky old (well, seventies) book on word elements in modern biochemistry for only 20 cents in the used book sale bin at the library. Stop laughing. I like etymology.

I'll leave you with a snip from a BBC article that amused me for no other reason than that the medical professional has a lovely name:
Professor Richard Sharpe, principal investigator at the MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh said the study was yet another indication that naturally occurring plant products can have an effect on human hormones.

Professor, eh? Dick Sharpe, gone from havercake to hormone specialist... Did Baird lure him to Edinburgh? (It's even funnier due to the fact that I was taking a break from typing up Sharpe fic notes when I read the article.)
empyreus: (read my lips)
( Feb. 13th, 2007 01:38 pm)
'cause all the cool kids are doing it. ;)

My Valentinr - empy
Get your own valentinr

To be honest, I'd almost forgotten all about Valentine's Day. Comes with living in a country that still hasn't quite caught on when it comes to Valentine hysteria, I suspect. (Well, that or the fact that I've been crazily busy, tired and ill of late.) Our version is, to an extent at least, about friends and loved ones rather that crushes. And I've always been a bit 'meh' about it anyway.

You know, that last bit sounds a bit too negative. Bah.
empyreus: (read my lips)
( Jan. 17th, 2007 02:13 pm)
One of the Faroese students teachers attending the lectures we've been interpreting looks so much like Mads Mikkelsen it scares me. They could be brothers. He also has the most wibble-inducing smile I've seen in a long time.

The next lecture (starting in an hour) is on Faroese cinema. I'm both hoping and fearing he'll be the speaker. Hoping because he's nice to look at, and fearing it for the same reason. I go all funny in the knicker department can't focus on the speech if the speaker is sex on legs. Gah.

Also: if I never hear the word "diegesis" again, it'll be too soon.

EtA: And of course he was the speaker. I'm happy to report that I managed to interpret his speech well, though, because he suddenly shifted from Danish to a lovely bastardized Scandinavian patois (equal parts Danish and Norwegian, plus just a dash of Faroese) which was easy on the brain, and I also found that the language-oriented parts of my brain pushed the libidinous ones aside for the duration of the interpreting turn. Said lascivious parts woke up as soon as I ended my turn, though, and I was slightly... distracted. I'm fairly sure I looked completely calm, though, which is something of a relief.
empyreus: (Clockwork)
( Dec. 7th, 2006 06:04 pm)
Bah. Today's been a bit annoying.

I was due to give a presentation on a Nordic phenomenon for a course, and of course I was last on the list, meaning I would have to rush through my presentation. Fine by me, really, as mine (on the history of the Nordic flags) was cobbled together rather hastily. What really annoyed me was the fact that, toward the end of the lecture, three twits near the front decided that a gossiping session would pass the time nicely. They were still talking when I took my place at the podium and began my presentation. It irritated me so much that I actually rapped my knuckles on the podium and said "Right, you three over there. I'm the one talking now. Could you please shut up so I can get on with my presentation?" The looks on their faces were priceless. I think I managed to make three new enemies right then and there.

I also think I made a new enemy not five minutes ago. I've been accosted by telemarketers for the past week, and I've managed to get rid of them by saying they were calling at an inappropriate moment, but this time I stupidly answered the phone without looking too closely at the number. The salesperson sounded older than the average teletwit, but god, she was just as irritating as the younger ones. I listened politely to the offer (mobile phone carrier, the old "get new phone for one euro, sell your soul to our company in return" deal), then politely declined. She pressed on, so I declined a second time, thanking her for the offer in a rather sickly sweet tone. Realizing she'd been defeated, she rang off with a bitchy-sounding "Thank you and merry Christmas, then!". Yes, screw you too, you old bat.

My head is still tired from all the assignments I've been fighting with. Tuesday was a bit of a nightmare, as it began with three hours (!) of interpreting from Danish. I woke up late, rushed over to uni and practically ran into the interpreting studio, flung myself down and tried to find pen and paper as we'd be interpreting consecutively for the first half hour. The speaker's Danish was rather clear, thankfully, but he went on and on apparently without realizing that it was hell on the person interpreting. Of course I got all the tricky terms and rambly parts, argh. (We'd been sent material, but I'd been so busy that I hadn't had time to read it, so I was even more lost.) However, the teacher seemed to think I did well, so I'll go with that. I really need to work on my note-taking, though, because I write far too much.

The remaining time (a little over two hours) was spent interpreting simultaneously, and that was a bit easier. We (older students) were paired up with the people doing the basic studies course, and I ended up with a girl who was a bit of a twit. I kept telling her to at least try to say something when she got stuck, but she just sat there and kept silent. I ended up taking over several times, out of sheer frustration. Yes, this was only an exercise, but we're always told to act as though the situation is real.

In an absurd twist, the next lecture also featured the same speaker. The lecturer responsible for the course was my interpreting teacher, and she'd apparently decided to get as much mileage out of the speaker as possible. This wouldn't have been a bad thing, had it not been for the fact that he held the same damn speeches over again. Needless to say, I spent most of the lecture trying to finish up the LSP translation assignment I'd promised to hand in that afternoon. (I ended up writing frantically for two hours after the lecture, but managed to finish the assignment and handed it to the professor about half an hour before she was due to leave for her winter break. Yaye for last-minute hand-ins.)

Two exams, a report and a speech to go. And four challenge fics, one of which is due on Monday morning and which I haven't even started on yet. Oh god, why have my RPS muses died? *flops*
I feel awful. My nose is slightly less stuffy (though only very slightly less stuffy), but I've been coughing so much both my throat and my sternum (!) are sore. The cough syrup I've been taking seems to have the wrong effect, as it only makes me cough more. It's supposed to be for dry cough*, which I think I have, and it's helped in the past, but this cough will have none of it. Bah. I also keep sneezing, and it's rather unpleasant when you're all blocked up. What's worse, I can't use nasal spray to unblock my nose, because it irritates my nasal lining terribly and makes it feel like I'm about to sneeze all the time. Surely you know the feeling: that burn in your nose that makes you draw short deep breaths in the hope of bringing on the sneeze that's hiding just behind your sinuses. Interesting dilemma, that: either keep sneezing and sniffling, breathing laboriously through one unblocked nostril, or use nasal spray to feel like you're about to sneeze all the time and to be forced to blow your nose every thirty seconds.

Yesterday, I emailed the lecturer responsible for the exam and told her I can't attend it. I think it's better that I rest, because in my current state, I doubt I'd be able to produce anything coherent. My head feels all stuffy, both literally and figuratively, and focusing on anything is a bit difficult. I also wanted to show some consideration for my fellow students, as they'd probably go mad after having to listen to me coughing my way through the exam and blowing my nose every five seconds. EtA: [ profile] littlemimm (who took the same exam) talked to the lecturer on my behalf and reported that there'll probably be a retake in November. I don't know if that'll be the third one or if she means to schedule one only for me. (The retake in November would be the second and last one, and it would annoy me if I had to attend that one, as I would have to pass directly. However, based on what Mimm said about the questions, it shouldn't be all that difficult.)

I also emailed my interpreting teacher to say I can't do the presentation because my voice is so raspy and because I keep coughing. Hopefully, she'll see the email before the lecture, as I know she was away yesterday and probably didn't check her email. Son of EtA: She saw the email before the lecture, and we rescheduled the presentation. I'll be doing it next week.

At any rate, I think she'll understand, because she's an interpreter and knows that if your voice goes, you're screwed. I also told her on Tuesday that I'd do the presentation provided my cold didn't get worse and/or affect my voice. As you can see, it did both, with bells on. All I need now is a fever, which I suspect might be lurking around the corner. My hands and feet are ice cold, but I feel uncomfortable in that slightly feverish way. Grr, why is my thermometer hiding? I need it.

*It's beginning to turn raspy, though, and as I typed this, I had a rather painful coughing fit that left me feeling like someone had just scrubbed the underside of my sternum with steel wool. Gah. I really don't need this.
The short answer? Yes, some of us do. My mouse had been acting up (tracking slowly and occasionally jamming a bit), so I decided to clean it out properly, not just take out the ball and pick out the slivers of gunk that collect on the x and y wheels inside.

The disassembling process proved to be both short and simple. There's only one screw holding the halves together, and it only takes a bit of wriggling to get the halves separated. However, you should do this on a level surface (ideally one that is also light in colour), as the tiny springs tend to make a break for freedom. It also makes it easier to dispose of the filth you find. My mouse yielded mostly dust and eraser crumbs, but also a head hair, several eyelashes, granules that look like sand but most likely aren't, and a single sesame seed (!).

Below are a few pictures I snapped during the process, mostly to illustrate the amount of dust and unknown particles that end up inside a mouse after long use. (I'm such a nerd, I really am.)

Mouse #1Mouse #2Closeup #1Closeup #2

(You know the drill. Click on the pics to get to the larger version.)

In other, rather fascinating news: I've received an interesting compliment this week. I was talking to a lady I only know briefly (she was one of the speakers during a fake conference that doubled as an endurance test for us interpreting students), and she told me, rather out of the blue, that she liked my interpreting voice. Apparently I sound like a flight attendant when I interpret. o_O I must have looked a bit stunned, because she went on to explain that she associated what she called "that calm and level tone you have" with flight attendants (and other tannoy voices, apparently), and that she thought it sounded reliable and official without being stiff.

I still don't know what to make of that. I'll take it as a compliment, as it was intended as one, but I'm also adding it to my list of "Well, I don't think I've been called that before"*2.

*'Mouse' as in 'computer peripheral', of course. :)
*2I will readily admit that immediately upon hearing the flight attendant bit, my brain provided me with an image of Captain Rich. ;) Now there's someone I wouldn't mind attending on...
empyreus: (brains)
( Jun. 9th, 2006 09:42 pm)
The B.A. maturity exam is tomorrow, and I have a feeling I should be fretting about it. I'm not, though, mostly because I'm too tried. Work isn't terribly taxing, but the hours are. My shift starts at six in the morning, which means my sleeping patterns are all over the place. I'm generally so tired when I come home (around half past one) that I can barely bring myself to make coffee, and that, you'll agree, is worrying. ;) In addition to this, I have Italian classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and they run from five to a quarter past eight in the evening. As a result, I have even less of a life than before. I'm also terrible at commenting and/or keeping up with the Flist right now, and I apologize if I've missed something important.

In addition to not quite managing to be nervous, I'm also relieved that there was one more exam date before the fifteenth, as it means the academic credits count towards this academic year, not the next. (And it means I technically manage to get the B.A. before my 25th birthday, just like I'd set out to do years ago.) My seminar supervisor had requested that we write the exams before the fifteenth, as he has to correct entrance exams after that date. Fine, I thought, I'll leave him a note* and ask him to set the question for that date. I did so on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday afternoon, the note and exam envelope*2 were still in his in tray. At that point, I got so annoyed that I sought out the assistant and asked her to call him and get him to come fetch the envelope before things got ugly. I refrained from saying that I'd have the fucker wear his guts for garters if he didn't, though.
I told her to call me or send me a message when he picked up the envelope, and she did, so I didn't have to beat the supervisor up. Lord knows I wanted to, though. All he needed to do was set one (!) question and have it translated*3 at the department of Nordic languages. That's it. That and give the envelope to the person responsible for coordinating the exams. Honestly. And he calls us lazy. *eyeroll*

Am I permitted to whine a bit more? Good. My throat feels odd and a bit scratchy, as though I've caught a cold. I made ginger tea to soothe the scratchiness, but I think I may have gone a bit overboard with the ginger, because my mouth burns.

Today wasn't completely horrible, though: I got the minutes from the workshop where I acted as interpreter, and it felt both strange and a bit exhilarating to see "Interpreter" next to my name in the list of participants. Yes, I'm a bit sad like that. ;)

Oh, and utterly randomly: I revamped the journal over a week ago, but forgot to post about it. Eh. I quite like the new look, even if it meant giving up Minas Tirith as a header image. (And you don't want to know how much time I spent on tinkering with the Latin.)

*He is infamous for refusing to communicate via email, for missing or avoiding his own office hour and for generally being a bit of a stubborn bastard. (You've seen me rant about it before.) Furthermore, he actually requested that I leave a note in his in tray about the exam. Wtf? Which century is this?

*2 Part of the process. Some exams are sc. "envelope exams", meaning the student marks a special envelope with course details and their own name and student details when registering for the exam, then hands in the envelope to the examiner. I have no clue as to why it's done that way. Probably because they need to keep them separate from other random exam papers.

*3 Students write the maturity exam in their mother tongue. Technically, mine is Finnish, but I grew up bilingual and attended Swedish schools for the first twelve years, so the supervisor gave me a choice. I chose Swedish, as I feel it's my stronger language when it comes to academic texts. My supervisor is British, hence the need for translation.

([ profile] caras_galadhon, I seem to have taken a liking to your footnote system. I hope that's okay with you. :))
empyreus: (interpreting)
( May. 5th, 2006 05:13 pm)
Dear B.A. thesis,
consider yourself pwned.


(Okay, so I'm not all that satisfied with it, but for fuck's sake, I just don't have the energy to tinker with it anymore. It's almost late as it is. And yes, I did tell my poor technologically challenged supervisor that he'd get a printed copy, but the printer in this computer lab is b0rked and most of campus is locked by now, so he'll have to download it from the YahooGroup that was set up for the course, just like everyone else in the group.
*sigh* Why do I always develop an instant violent dislike of my academic assignments three seconds after I've handed them in? Argh. Now I'm convinced the thesis is so flawed people won't know whether to laugh or to cry, and that I'll get bitched at by the supervisor for not having enough material on the main aspect.)

Dear interpretation edurance test,
consider yourself pwned as well.

More love,

The interpretation test was actually fun, once you got over the fact that yes Virginia, there are non-teacher people out there listening to your interpretation, and they're taking notes. The nicest part was when the n00b students (i.e. the ones who are just starting their interpretation studies), were brought upstairs during the break to see the interpretation booths. Apparently some of them had asked to see me specifically (they were told our names when they were handed the headsets, as there were two channels active: two fellow students shared a booth and were on channel A; I was alone in another booth, and on channel B), which weirded me out slightly. It didn't get better when they enthused "We really liked listening to your voice, it was so nice. You're very good at this.". Err. Okay.

There was one point at which I was convinced I was making a mess of the interpreting, though. The consoles have switches for the microphone, and as I leaned over to flick the switch (it was after the break, and I'd been joined by another interpreter), the entire bloody switch popped loose. I stared at it in disbelief for a second before I was overcome by a violent fit of giggling. I was literally crying with laughter, hunched over the desk, trying desperately not to howl. I could hear laughter in the other interpreter's voice as she quickly went on talking (I was intending to take over when it happened) and at the next slight pause in the presentation, she turned off her own microphone and hissed "What the fuck just happened?". I was laughing so hard I couldn't answer, and I only waved the loose switch. I tried to calm down, but I was still sniggering on and off when the next speaker came on.

The funniest bit? The same thing happened to the people in the other booth. No, really. We were laughing like idiots when the test was over and we were having coffee. What are the odds?

Right, off home now. The Latin exam is tomorrow, and I need to memorize a few verbs.
I'm not really here, I'm frantically writing the last of my (so-so) B.A. thesis so I can send my opponent a version of it a few days before the rest get it. I haven't been to see the supervisor (eek), but I think I can get away with it. Look, he knows what I'm writing about and he knows I can write proper academic English. Isn't that enough?

The rest of this week is one long stretch of work, work and more work. Tomorrow, I have Danish at eight in the morning, then I have to meet with a fellow interpreting student to discuss a project (amount of material surveyed: nada), plus I have to submit an analysis of an article.
Thursday: I need to hand in the final version of the B.A. *fretfretpanic*
Friday: four hours of interpreting at a mock conference which will double as an endurance test. Apparently, it will be attended by at least two extra groups of people, which means the listening audience will be at least twice as big as the intended one. Oh well, if I can handle interpreting consecutively and alone for three hours in front of forty-odd people, I can handle four hours of interpreting simultaneously from a booth with a partner and having the same amount or more listen in. At least they're not looking directly at us, as we're way up high and behind them. (The auditorium is fairly large, and the interpreting booths are up near the ceiling at the back.)
Saturday: Latin exam. It's a retake of the one I attended a few weeks ago, and I'm fairly confident I'll be able to improve my grade this time around.

I had to email one of the teachers and ask for (yet another) extension of a deadline, but I don't feel all that guilty over it. I'd originally asked for a slight extension because of schedule clashes, but since then, I've had to shuffle dates like mad because of lecture changes which led to even more clashes. Aiee.

I'll be beating my head against the keyboard if anyone needs me.

[Super-secret Finnish message for [ profile] littlemimm: anteeksi etten ollut eilen/tänään AIMissa. Minulla on aivan liikaa tekemistä. :/ No, onneksi kandi on jotenkuten kasassa, kunhan tajuaisin miten kytkeä argumentit yhteen tunkematta mukaan kaikenlaista toistoa ja kehäpäätelmää.]
empyreus: (Default)
( Apr. 5th, 2006 03:03 pm)
Ungargh. Just thought I'd let you know that I'm back home.

I'm too tired to type up a long update, because I got all of three and a half hours of sleep last night. I was also insane enough to attend the Media Studies lecture (which I had to rush to, as the train arrived here at 11.40 and the lecture began at 12.15) this afternoon, so I really need a nap. *faceplants*

Also: my throat feels like it's lined with sandpaper. So much for not wearing my voice out.
I was going to update yesterday, but LJ was wanky all evening and would't let me see my journal or log in. Argh.

Yesterday wasn't all that eventful, unless you count the fact that the interpretation exercise was murderous. The speaker was Norwegian (and a total dead ringer for Richard Harris -- more on that later), his overhead material was in English and we were to interpret his presentation into Finnish. Now, I haven't studied Norwegian, so I just filter it via Swedish, something that works fine if you only need to process the speech, not interpret it. If I'm interpreting consecutively from Norwegian, it means I don't have the time to go via Swedish, as I have to a) listen to the speaker, b) understand what he says, c) figure out how to phrase it in Finnish, d) remember numbers and names, and, in this case, e) remember not to read the English text on the overhead lest I get sidetracked by it, and f) produce a translation that is fluent. All of this in about two or three seconds, which is the average delay when doing consecutive interpreting. If we'd been forced to interpret simultaneously, I'm quite confident I would have given up.

If I'm not the one interpreting, it means I have even more to do: I have to listen to the speaker, figure out what he is saying, listen to the person next to me who is interpreting, take notes to support her (numbers, names, abbreviations, terms that are difficult) and listen to her interpretation, constantly comparing the source and the target and correcting her if necessary plus listening to the point of the speech so I can adjust my own interpretation accordingly. No wonder I always feel drained when I step out of the booth.

Back to the Richard Harris thing, then: Mr. F, the professor who was kind enough to act as speaker, looks alarmingly much like Richard Harris as Dumbledore. Granted, his hair is only jaw-length and he has no beard, but he's white-haired and sports a very stylish walrus mustache. As you can imagine, this made it a bit difficult to focus only on what he was saying. ;)

I'm sure everyone's seen this, but I'll link to it all the same: The longlisted passages for the Bad Sex in Fiction award. See, fandom isn't the only place that's rife with bad smut.

Back to writing now.


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