interpreter’s nightmares

last night i had this dream.

one of my interpreter colleagues asks me to pair him at a conference at the uni for simultaneous interpretation. unfortunately, i also have to present a paper there, a complication, no more.

so, i turn up, with full text of my paper in both languages, all set for interpreting.

first, it appears that the booth for simoultaneous has malfunctioned, and so we have to go to an adjacent hall and the techs are improvising the connection there. we cannot see the speakers, and the audio in quality could be far, far better. all our attempts to improve it, fail – the audio controls seem to be operated by pedals rather than switches or sliders.

and so the conference goes on, us catching the sound from the loudspeakers in the adjacent hall, and trying not to be too much off-beat where possible.

then the hall is full for some kind of plenery sesion, and a group of white-shirted babbling bambling band of (baboons ->J.K.Rowing?) students turns up in our improvised booth, and takes up most of the available space, endlessly chattering. the noise gets up to the levels where we cannot ensure even the measerly sound quality we had achieved. my colleague asks them to keep it down. for a while there is a tolerable level of murmur, and then the noise suddenly reaches impossible volume. i get up and try yelling at the students to come and do the interpreting themselves, if they cannot shut up.

and then the cat jumps in my bed.

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