Wednesday, January 17, 2018

AIB in Pictures

by Martha Hobart, AIB

AIB was created in 2001 and has seen many changes through the years. Up above is how we look today. We've come a long way!

This is our story of how we've evolved through the years and some of the things we've done. You can also read more of how it all came about here (in Spanish).

The founders of AIB in 2001. All smiles after taking the big step of starting a new adventure.

The group in 2012. Some new faces and missing a few who took another path.

The wayback machine: Shots from the early years

AIB celebrates its 2nd anniversary

Christmas dinner 2003

In 2008 AIB and AIM won the contract to organize the interpretation services for the Saragossa Expo. Interpretation in multiple languages and situations, an exciting and enriching experience.

Guiomar with an AIM colleague in the Expo press room, prepping for an assignment.

One of the numerous teams of interpreters who worked during the Expo.

AIB around the world. Martha and Beatriz at the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul with an AIIC colleague from Madrid. Hugo was there too, here acting as photographer.

A moment in AIB's tradition of holding informal meetings now and then to talk about new ideas and projects, and take time to hang out together. Here are some of us at Lourdes' house in Tarragona, several years back.

2010 was another milestone year. AIB and AIM organized interpretation services for events in Spain during the Spanish EU presidency. Unfortunately, nobody found time for photos. 😉

AIB turns 10 years old!

We celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2010 by inviting colleagues, collaborators and clients to a big bash.

And then we carried on: A sampling of what we’ve been up to

Cristina accompanies a group of headmasters of Catalan schools to the German region of Schwäbisch Hall on a visit organized by the Goethe Institute, to learn about a system of vocational training courses that involve learning both in the classroom and on the job.

Hugo interprets an interview with the great Ronaldinho when he was a player for the Barcelona Football Club.

AIB members Edwina, Patricia, Michelle and Fernando putting their heads together during a coffee break at a Strasbourg meeting.

Mireia prepares a talk given by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a French-German politician and radical activist. He was a student leader during the unrest of May 1968 in France and later a member of the European Parliament.

Martha interprets for one of the many workshops for eminent food photographers from around the world at the Food Photo Festival.

Felix at the 101st session of the ILO in Geneva, in the room with the spectacular ceiling.

Paying close attention to business at a general assembly a few years back.

In 2013 we decided it was time to make our AIB corporate video. Here Alberto Carreras of the José Carreras Leukemia Foundation expresses his satisfaction with AIB's services. Catherine manages the mic. 
See our corporate video (and more) here.

An interpreter's work is never done. While participants finish a leisurely post-conference lunch, Maria is hard at work preparing her next conference.

Guiomar provides consecutive interpreting for a neuromarketing course given by Christine Weidner.

Super-secretary and PR wizard Silvia attends the general assembly of the Catalunya Convention Bureau, a key organization in our sector.

We enjoyed our 15th Christmas celebration by learning how to cook a really great meal — which we then ate. Plus, we took part in a contest to see who could make the best hors d'oeuvres. Who won? Silvia!

After an intensive day's work at a seminar on ITCs and mental health care in Sant Boi, Edwina and Felix relax in the delightfully sleepy surroundings of Colònia Güell. This haven of early 20th-century industrial architecture and workers’ dwellings near Barcelona was commissioned by Count Eusebi Güell, textile mogul and philanthropist, best known as patron of the world famous architect Antoni Gaudí.

 A popular Catalan radio program (Matí de Catalunya Ràdio) broadcasts from Strasbourg during the final plenary session of Parliament before an EU election. Before going on the air, Edwina and Hugo provide interpretation for an interview in Strasbourg by the show's anchor Mònica Terribas with European MP Graham Watson.

Cristina, Felix and Mary, are in the Catalunya Ràdio studios in Barcelona, connected to Strasbourg, where they take part in a conversation broadcast live with Mònica Terribas in Strasbourg to talk about the interpreting profession, how it works, anecdotes and more.

Guiomar, Silvia and Lourdes take part in a forum organized by the CCB (Catalunya Convention Bureau) on the subject of business tourism, an important area for interpreters.
The event featured an elevator pitch competition, with Guiomar as one of the contestants. See her in action here.

AIB organized the interpreting teams for a four-day, 1200-delegate conference in Sitges, under the auspices of a major pharmaceutical multinational. Active languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German and Turkish. The Japanese conference slogan, YUUKAN, has a similar meaning to what its sound in English suggests: "bravery". 
Team members include AIB's Ursula, Maria, Jackie and Lourdes, pictured here with other AIIC colleagues on the team.

Madrid was the scene of one of AIIC's annual Private Market Sector meetings, hosted this time by the Spanish region. Five AIB members (Guiomar, Maria, Felix, Fernando and Mary) attended in person and the rest of us took part via a digital connection to the Saturday afternoon presentation followed by a lively discussion.

Service with a smile: AIB member Catherine interpreting at the twice-voted best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norwegian politician and international personality, in Barcelona for World Water Day. AIB provided interpreters for her interviews with the press and her keynote speech. In the photo, with Edwina.

Fernando interprets for an interview with George Blagden, London-based film and stage actor.

A recent meeting of the AIB board, followed by the marketing group, in Barcelona.

Another sumptuous repast to reward ourselves for our hard work at the latest general assembly.

A light-hearted moment during the meeting. All work and no play...

Guiomar with her colleague M. Arumí presented the new Erasmus Mundus Master Degree "MAGIS” (Master in Global Interpreting Services) for the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) at the 21st SCIC Universities Conference on “Building Capacities for a Changing World”.

The interpreting team for a recent SmartFruit international congress in Barcelona on integrated pest management. In the photo, Patrícia, Lourdes, Catherine and Maria, along with other AIIC colleagues who made up the team on this occasion.

Mireia and Pilar at an earlier SmartFruit congress.

An AIB-organized team of interpreters for Spanish, English and Russian at the 3rd International Symposium on Intermittent Vacuum Therapy for the German firm of Weyergans. After the symposium, company founder Rudolf Weyergans gave a demonstration.
In the photo, Guiomar, Maria and Patrícia, with Mary trying out the system.

A moment from the concert (jazz & more) featuring AIB's Cristina and her father Joan Amils. A great success and we were honored to donate the proceeds to Aldeas Infantiles SOS, Spanish chapter of the international NGO SOS Children's Villages that works to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children.

A major event to start off the new year of 2018 was AIIC’s 37th General Assembly, held in Valencia in January. AIB was well represented throughout, including the Private Market Sector (PRIMS) meeting held before the assembly sessions. 
In the photo, some of the AIB members who attended.

Birdseye view of the meeting from the booth. Members of the Spanish region provided voluntary interpreting services for all the GA sessions and some of the meetings held prior to the assembly.

And we leave you with our best wishes for this new year and all the years to come!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

El diablo está en los detalles

Por Pilar García-Crecente, AIB

Que los intérpretes tenemos que estar preparados para cualquier imprevisto ya nos lo advirtió Cristina con sus sabios consejos "decálogo de consejos para el intérprete". Pero hay imprevistos que no lo son tanto y que hacen que el profesional más avezado se sienta en terreno resbaladizo.

Me refiero a esos días en que, después de haber estudiado todas las artes de pesca minuciosamente y los animalillos marinos de tal o cual zona, te atascas con la tramontana, el levante o el gregal, que son el paisaje de quienes te escuchan. O cuando en un seminario sobre una herramienta informática la dificultad estriba en dar con padrón de habitantes, censo o pleno municipal porque resulta que la audiencia está repleta de técnicos de las administraciones locales.

Los intérpretes pretendemos pasar desapercibidos, transformarnos cual camaleones y que la forma en que nos expresamos resulte familiar y reconocible para nuestros oyentes; por eso, además de mantener lubricados nuestros idiomas de trabajo, nos preparamos exhaustivamente para una conferencia, pero ¡el diablo está en los detalles!

Hace pocos días me tocó en suerte la llamada de un cliente habitual que patrocinaba una conferencia muy poco habitual para ellos. A priori, pan comido; un par de horas, como mucho tres, en las que iba a haber interpretación simultánea para cerrar un par de jornadas de trabajo.

La única documentación disponible era el orden del día, en el que aparecía la palabra Euro, que en sí es tranquilizadora porque nos hinchamos a hacer reuniones de economía y finanzas. Ya resultó algo más inquietante, es verdad, lo de “historia monetaria” … Cuando nos pusimos a buscar en internet los nombres de los expertos que aparecían en el escuálido programa, nos encontramos con que eran verdaderas eminencias cuyas publicaciones profundizaban una en el denario romano, otra en los dineros de Carlomagno, en el florín, el ducado o el real de a ocho pasando por los pesos, aleaciones, leyes y paridades diversas a lo largo de toda la historia europea.

¡El susto fue mayúsculo! Para un experto en la circulación monetaria de la Edad Media (pongamos por caso), el contexto histórico, los reyes, la heráldica o la geografía son un paisaje habitual y reconocible que mencionará con naturalidad e inaudita rapidez. ¡Ahí precisamente iba a radicar la dificultad!

Así que las dos intérpretes empezamos a tirar del hilo y a adentrarnos en la inmensidad de ese mundo terminológico de condados, monedas, heráldica, materiales, paridades, pesos y medidas, rutas comerciales y hasta nombres de buques hundidos y piratas. Los artículos publicados por nuestros numismáticos, que encontramos gracias a plataformas como, nos sumergieron en un contexto plagado de sustantivos con un equivalente estupendo en español y que había que manejar con naturalidad.

Lo de menos fue acostumbrarnos a decir con toda naturalidad ceca cuando hablaban del atelier. Lo complicado fue que Thibaud II tenía que pasar a ser Teobaldo II con toda naturalidad (reconozco que era la primera vez que lo oía mencionar) y Thibaut le Chansonnier era Teobaldo el Trovador y ¡no el del cancionero ni el que cantaba!

Y así llegamos a Pipino el Breve, a Carlos el Calvo, a que Henri le Maladif era Enrique el Doliente y a Felipe el Hermoso, que por cierto ¡no es tan evidente que Philippe le Beau y él fuesen la misma persona y a no confundir con el otro Philippe le Bel! Y, francamente, yo no reconozco en Jacques I d’Aragon a nuestro Jaime I.

Además, la moneda se acuña, se labra, se bate, y en la ceca se usaban cuños, troqueles y ¡sufrideras! Y como quien no quiere la cosa, iban saliendo pueblos, aldeas, minas, ríos, cruzados y cruzadas y cetros o lanzas en los más recónditos vericuetos de la historia y la geografía del momento; todo ello atestado de múltiples latinajos que un solo curso de latín no ayuda a desentrañar…

¡Me parecieron eternos los segundos que tardé en emparejar Il Santo Volto con la Santa Faz y no con la santa cara!

Nuestro oyente debe percibir un lenguaje, una terminología, que reconoce y le resulta familiar para así prestar atención a lo que realmente le importa; por eso los intérpretes pasamos mucho tiempo leyendo y escuchando todo cuanto podemos, por eso nos volvemos locos pidiendo documentación para prepararnos. Debe de resultar sumamente incómodo estar escuchando a un intérprete que pasa de puntillas por los aledaños de su campo de especialización provocándole, como poco, una sonrisa benevolente con sus deslices.

¡No creo que los expertos de nuestra conferencia puedan imaginar la cantidad de horas que hicieron falta para preparar aquellas 2 horitas de reunión!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Alternative Views

By Hugo Pooley, AIB

How often does one find that an individual, a class, nay a whole society… holds that there is only one right way to do a certain thing? TINA, There Is No Alternative, as Maggie Thatcher used to say. The tea must be poured into the cup before the milk (or perhaps conversely). Men cannot wear skirts; their shoes must be black; socks must be worn with sandals. No se debe nunca cortar la tortilla con cuchillo. My country, right or wrong. Financial institutions shall certify details of transactions for submission to the taxman…

And the funny thing – one learns as one travels – is that each place´s only right way is different to the others! Tax rules are a particularly rich area of illustrations.

In Swift´s “Gulliver´s Travels”, the Big-Endian/Little-Endian controversy - between those in favour of breaking boiled eggs at one end or the other - reflects British quarrels over religion.

When you grow up - for example – as a little Brit on that “small island” permeated with the spirit of good old subject-verb-object - the missionary position of word orders - and a healthy distrust of all things continental. And then start to learn French at school and are introduced to the concept of noun genders. To such a candid soul there is nothing intrinsically feminine about a door or a shoe: imagine the turmoil these continental revelations unleash in the fervid imagination of a 12-year-old! Mind already slightly broadened.

Then comes, say, the study of German: masculine, feminine and neutral; verb at the end of the sentence… WTF! Later Spanish, with two alternative words for – concepts of – the verb ´to be´, and a sentence can be arranged in almost any order… more like a grammatical Kama Sutra. Then perhaps Portuguese: hey, we´ll just swallow half the sounds and are telling you it´s perfectly reasonable to insert a particle, such as an object, in the middle of a verb, between its stem and ending: dar-to-ia.

Not to mention the weird and wonderful phenomena at play in more exotic languages… The end result has to be considerable mind expansion. In such a way that one begins to perceive that The Other may have a point, there may after all be more than one way to skin a cat: there´s no intrinsic reason why the salt cellar should be the one with a single hole in the cap, maybe gay marriage could be acceptable, perhaps it´s good to eat with one´s hands, why not mark the conservative-voting constituencies in red not blue, indeed perhaps a different electoral system would be fairer?

Mind thus blown… I don´t know if there are many intolerant left-wing bigots in our beloved profession, but submit that pursuant to the considerations above, there are not many closed-minded right-wing ones.