Open Thread: Are Interpreters Superstitious?

This elk has been to several trials.
Today we would love to hear from our fellow interpreters, regardless of their field: do you have a good-luck charm? Are you superstitious about certain things? For instance, do you always use your left hand to hit the microphone "on" button in the booth? Or do you wear a favorite suit/scarf/pair of shoes/lucky underwear for high-profile interpreting assignments? Do you always start a new page in your notebook for each interpreting assignment? What are your quirks -- call them superstition or not?

In general, our manicure is one of our main secret interpreting weapons. Feeling good about our nails, as trite as it sounds, makes us feel confident. In addition, we do have some favorite items of clothing, in particular a black power suit for Judy that she bought in Vienna, and yes, some lucky charms in the form of small stuffed animals. The newest addition is this little guy (an elk) that Judy picked up in Oslo, Norway. 

Please share your stories with us, dear fellow interpreters! Just leave a comment below. 


Jonathan Downie on June 21, 2017 at 7:51 AM said...

I always pray before I go into the booth, no matter where I am interpreting and I do love to clock up some lip-roll vocal exercises.

And of course, each assignment needs to start on a new notebook page and any less than three pens is simply unthinkable!

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on June 21, 2017 at 8:24 AM said...

@Jonathan Downie: Great stuff -- thanks for sharing! Our thoughts exactly on the pens. Can never have too many of those, because invariably one will fail at the most important moment.

Alexander C. Gansmeier said...

I always hand write some "troublesome terms" on a little cheat sheet. Might need it, might not, but at least it's there :-)
Besides that I have my Surface pen to annotate PDFs. Although I don't always use it, it's always there if I need it.

Besides that, I got no superstitions or lucky charms :-)

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on June 21, 2017 at 8:36 AM said...

@Alexander Gansmeier: Thanks for reading and for commenting! Great to "see" you here on our blog. Awesome about the Surface pen to annotate PDFs. That sounds like a fantastic tool that we must look into. Thanks for the recommendation! Alles Liebe aus Vegas.

Montserrat Sardà on June 21, 2017 at 8:57 AM said...

I always print out my glossaries to go through them one more time on my way to the assignment, or right before we start. It gives me confidence. Needless to say, I have my glossaries online and in my laptop & smartphone as well, but a hard copy is a must. I know, quite old school and definitely not environmentally friendly...

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on June 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM said...

@Montserrat: Thanks for your insightful comment! We completely agree: having print-outs (usually in a neat little folder) makes you feel so confident indeed. And we can always save the planet in many other ways. Thanks for sharing and here's to fantastic interpreting assignments with hard-copy glossaries.

Maha El-Metwally on June 21, 2017 at 11:51 AM said...

I wear a Kyanite necklace. I consider it to be the interpreter's stone 😊

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on June 21, 2017 at 1:34 PM said...

@Maha El-Metwally: Thanks so much. We just looked up the stone and it is gorgeous. We might just have to pick up a necklace for ourselves. Lovely indeed! What a great lucky charm.

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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