Will we ever get a decent meal at La Fira?

It is baffling how a city that prides itself on its gastronomy serves such horrendous food at its convention center (Fira 1 & Fira 2). This situation is screaming out for an overhaul. Especially if Barcelona really wants those sought-after “quality tourists”.

Six days’ work with Stephen Gilligan... would that they were all like this.

Dr Stephen Gilligan was back in Barcelona in November, and I had the honor of liaison interpreting for him over six days.
Working with Gilligan is a fantastic experience, not just because the content of his “Trance Camp” is uplifting and relatively accessible. He has a rich speaking voice and a delivery that is so economic it is almost laconic. That allows me to focus on not just what I say but how I say it.

Spanish Senate Interpreting Stink: A Bigger Issue Lurks Beneath

Yesterday, Spain's Senate had its first session in which the country's regional languages: Galician, Basque, Valencian and Catalan were used by senators speaking from the floor. Senators not fluent in the languages got simultaneous translation into Spanish via headsets.

Río Gringo

 Last week, La Vanguardia published the news that Barcelona had surpassed one million overnight stays by US tourists.

The Per Diem End-Run

 The Per Diem End-Run is a play that I’ve witnessed twice. It consists of hustling meals off the organizer to avoid spending your per diem allowance, then billing it anyway.
The first time gave my client (an agency rep who was quarterbacking the end-run that day) a chance to show off his lightning-quick wits. He had to have the line ready.

Four Ways to Avoid Consecutive Interpreting Hell


Ten Catalan words that will bite you where it hurts every time

The list could be much longer than ten. Catalan has words that come from out of nowhere to blindside you. When at a loss, the Spanish word with Catalan phonetics is the most common escape route. Lame, but true.

Ten Pharma Mnemonics that Can Be Your Friend

Drugs and their active ingredients are to interpreting what speed bumps are to driving. Suddenly a word is being uttered that is the diametric opposite of a household name. A total bogey. And it is  essential you get it right, not just for the sake of thorough, quality interpreting, but because the maker of that drug, or their closest competitor, may be listening. And probably is.

January 2013: Syndromes, trances and the way ahead


Most interpreters would agree that outside of August, January is the year's slowest month. There’s just not much work to be had. Everyone else seems to be vigorously attacking the new year, while we sit and watch. And the only thing that’s better about February is that it’s 10% shorter.


Three Sobering Reasons Why Research Work Will Be King in 2013

I have taken stock of my first quarter, and the beginnings of the second, and come up with a handful of harrowing conclusions. Chief among them, 2013 will be a market research kind of year.