At the age of ten my school removed me from French class. “He shows problems at school, has challenges with modern languages and should be held back a year,” wrote my teacher.
My French language block changed to a tutor. They gave me supplementary classes – math and language arts. As a stranger, the French teacher would only allow me back to observe the class – not to be graded, marked or taken earnestly. Students surrounded me months ahead of my level. To pop up amongst the lessons on the past tense of être was a struggle.
Fast-forward 15 years. Currently my “languages learned” count stands at 9 – my top three languages are Deutsch, Español and 中文. Turns out there wasn’t much of a challenge but rather a hunger for languages. You can call me Andrew Carson – a language nerd, MBA degree holder, marketer and entrepreneur.
Today my tongues constantly demonstrate to me the power and relevance of other languages. As translators you have front row seats to the spectacle. Through your careers you have worked between languages. You have seen the underbelly of the beast and understand the role they play to uphold progress. Whether your work revolves around conferences or two-person exchanges, there are always thoughts to shuttle across the gap.
Now here’s where you can help me out.
Currently my energy has been focused on a set of language projects around NYC. One project looks at oral translators – at the moment they change between source and target languages. The study seeks to understand how languages are absorbed at that second and how they are processed. The project hopes to uncover common themes among translators and across careers.
So far the project has collected the anecdotes of 15 translators through casual tête-à-têtes at cafes around NYC. Many oral translators have offered remarkable accounts of how they process language already and hopefully you can too.
Do you have a few seconds to chat about your career?
Now, you’re busy and don’t have much space on your schedule to relax at a café and chat – understood. However the above paragraphs were just as hard for me to compose and work out as your schedule. The above text was constructed as a “Lipogram of I”. No letter “I” was ever used here. For the record, “is,” “interview” and “interpreter” were pretty hard to evade. For more “information,” or to “join” the study please feel free to “email” me – Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org