|Image from http://www.007.com/spectre/|
In typical Bond fashion, in this movie there's a very, very bad guy (and very petty, too, and he holds grudges--but no spoilers here) who wants to basically dominate the world (sound familiar?) and yes, of course he wants to kill the very suave James Bond (a fascinating, if not classically beautiful Daniel Craig). This evil dude runs a big international group of fellow evil-doers, and as one might expect, they hail from different countries. They have their big bad meeting in a snazzy Roman palace and everyone just speaks their language while the truly invisible interpreters (at least we never see them in the movie) work their magic in this large, cavernous hall. We can't imagine the acoustics would be very good, but we digress. We didn't really see any of the speakers turn on a microphone, either, but perhaps they were wearing lapel microphones. Or not. Or something. This is, after all, the movies. And everyone took turns speaking; what a concept for those of us who work as court interpreters! Those who needed interpreting services used what looked like Sennheiser receivers, and for those in the movie theater, the nice people at MGM provided fantastic subtitles.
Now, of course, the things discussed at this meeting of evil people were, well, pretty evil. Good thing it's a movie, so we don't have to worry about a real code of interpreter ethics here, but it does beg the question about how one would behave if you were put in a situation like this one where you had to interpret truly horrific things that have only one goal: to pretty much destroy most of humanity and enrich a few. Would you do it?
In the meantime, despite some minor flaws, we are delighted to see that simultaneous interpreters (even if they are never seen, as is oftentimes the case in conference interpreting) have made an appearance in a major Bond movie. Here's the trailer if you are interested: