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Interpreters live exciting lives. No two days are the same. They are always on the go and they are their own masters with a lot of freedom – and how about their life-work balance. 

But while we’ve all seen interpreters on TV next to world leaders or business executives, most people have a couple of key questions when it comes to this role. What does an interpreter do? And what does a typical day look like? 

Take a look below at two typical days in the life of an interpreter – before and after RSI.

How do they compare? For both days there is a nice work-satisfaction, but life holds other aspects as well. 

 

what does an interpreter do?

 
Before RSI
  • 4:30 The alarm goes. Breakfast. Bag packed. 
  • 5:00 No taxi, no Uber – some misunderstanding. 
  • 5:20 Off – but late – traffic intense, in spite of early hours. The whole city seems to be going to the airport. 
  • 7:00 Airport, fast-track, slow security, take-off, 90 minutes flying time – final preparations for today’s meeting. 
  • 9:00 Uneventful transit from airport to conference center. In place at conference, hello to colleagues in other booths. 
  • 9:00-12.30 Busy conference, many presentations. Some have changed, since they were sent to the interpreters. 
  • 12:30-13:30 Lunch break in conference site. 
  • 14:00 Text from baby-sitter – suspicion of mumps (Concentration disturbed). 
  • 17:00 Conference finished. Off to airport, fast-track, security. 
  • 18:30 Flight cancelled. Waiting time. 
  • 20:30 New flight. 
  • 23.30 Home – no mumps – just a virus. 
  • 00:30 Relax and finally to bed. 

 

A day in the life of an interpreter

After RSI 
  • 7:00 Breakfast with family. 
  • 8:30 Getting ready for meeting, checking software and documents. Connecting with technicians and colleagues in other locations. 
  • 9:00 Meeting launched. Hiccups in technology. Problems solved within 20 seconds. 
  • 11:00 Meeting finished. Feedback from participants positive. 
  • 11:00-13:00 Preparation for next meeting. Administrative work, calendar, planning. 
  • 13:00 Getting ready for meeting, checking soft-ware and documents. Connecting with colleagues in other locations and technicians. 
  • 13:30 Meeting launched. 
  • 14:00 Text from old client: emergency meeting called for 21:00. Yes, I am available. 
  • 16:30 Meeting finished. 
  • 18:00 Homework with kids and dinner with family. 
  • 23:00 Good night. 

 

WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER? 

 

Kim Ludvigsen

Written by Kim Ludvigsen

Kim Ludvigsen is the founder and CEO of Interprefy. He was born in 1958 and grew up in Denmark. He lives in Zurich and graduated in Civil Engineering from the ETH in 1981 and has an MBA from INSEAD 1986. He worked for Accenture, Apax Partners and Ernst & Young and later co-founded several start-ups. In 2014 he met with Peter Frei, former colleagues form the Swiss Post, with whom he conceived the Interprefy business idea.