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I believe many of us know that there is a senior that interprets while knitting. I heard / read criticism, but I believe there is more meaning than this, and for us to learn from, at least for me.

I believe she is more confident than careless about herself, her skills and qualities. And at least one thing I see from it, one's mind/energy can be allotted to so many things at the same time after training. To be specific in this job, first, she obtained all skills, qualities, (especially the perseverance I admire); second, she is so familiar with the material to be interpreted...

Definitely this is a case worth exploring, so what do you say?

asked 17 Aug '12, 09:39

Paris%20Si%20de%20Chine's gravatar image

Paris Si de ...

edited 17 Aug '12, 09:51

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

...if you ask me, this is a non-issue: I couldn't care less about what else a colleague does in the booth, provided it doesn't detract from the quality of his/her work - and his/her boothmates' ! - nor does it reflect negatively on the profession, my only other proviso as to knitting would therefore be that it be discreet and less than bed-spread size ... I remember by Mum saying knitting left her mind free to roam, so perhaps the "issue" isn't the amount of concentration that needs to go into interpreting but the one going into knitting :-).

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answered 18 Aug '12, 06:32

msr's gravatar image


Yes, Mr MSR. It requires a lot of elements to explore this subject. I will keep it for later, when I have free time. Thanks.

(18 Aug '12, 09:42) Paris Si de ...

Thanks for your patience, to answer this and every other question of mine.For sure, if you teach others, you must be a great tutor. :-)

(18 Aug '12, 20:00) Paris Si de ...

I agree with Manuel that it's not a problem "provided it doesn't detract from the quality of his/her work - and his/her boothmates", however, if the booths are visible to listeners I think their are a range of activities that look unprofessional, and therefore "reflect negatively on the profession" and which could be perceived as disrespectful by clients.

Lawyers, to take an example at random, do not read newspapers, eat sandwiches, or knit in court. And in as far as they may be visible to customers interpreters shouldn't do any of the above in the booth.


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answered 19 Aug '12, 04:38

Andy's gravatar image


Yes, Andrew, thanks for your kind answer and your point is understood. This type of behavior may undermine one's professional image if visible to client. :-)

(19 Aug '12, 04:58) Paris Si de ...

Knitting can be noisy - the clicking, like someone typing. All unprofessional-looking activities should be hidden, but I find needlepoint, when I'm not on mike, helps me to go on really listening to even the most turgid meeting, it provides a focus for concentration.

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answered 13 Aug '13, 07:00

dunphail's gravatar image


I have heard once of interpreting students being instructed to try interpreting and knitting at the same time, as some kind of a dual task that allows them to learn how to handle multiple things at the same time and be more focused. Maybe some of them have got used to it and actually find it easier to combine interpreting and knitting? :-)

For one thing, I remember that while learning how to interpret, I liked to keep my hands busy for a better focus, and there are not many things you can do in the booth without making noise. I would never knit, though - apart from the fact I have never learned that, I need to stay ready to write down numbers if anything comes up.

(No idea how noisy knitting can get. Plus, it should not be visible to the listeners.)

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answered 13 Aug '13, 07:47

Joanna's gravatar image


edited 13 Aug '13, 08:12

I've been told the story of a colleague who'd draw the key speakers' portrait while interpreting and then give it to them as a souvenir of the conference.

To practice multitasking, part of my training involved either counting mentally backwards while on mic, or writing down series of numbers (multiples of 3 or 7 for instance).

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answered 13 Aug '13, 11:38

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

edited 13 Aug '13, 11:43

Hi, Gaspar, your idea is so interesting!

(13 Aug '13, 21:49) Paris Si de ...

Rhythmic activity helps bring the mind into a meditative trance-like state, the state that is in my opinion an absolute requirement for a professional interpreter. Some interpreters use doodles for that. However, I am completely agree with what it written above:

"Lawyers, to take an example at random, do not read newspapers, eat sandwiches, or knit in court. And in as far as they may be visible to customers interpreters shouldn't do any of the above in the booth."

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answered 11 Sep '13, 01:02

Cyril%20Flerov's gravatar image

Cyril Flerov

Hi, Cyril:

Thanks for your new yet thought-provoking idea. :)

Best regards


(16 Sep '13, 21:49) Paris Si de ...

Most welcome. -

(16 Sep '13, 22:26) Cyril Flerov
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question asked: 17 Aug '12, 09:39

question was seen: 5,530 times

last updated: 17 Sep '13, 09:28

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