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  • Writer's picturemonicademartin

Interpreter alert: always dress the part!

As a translator, my day-to-day outfit has always been pyjamas or, at best, some cosy loungewear. Mid-morning, I have a shower, brush my teeth,and put my comfy clothes back on.

My dress-up time comes during interpreting assigments. Whether I am hiding in a booth at an international conference, sitting opposite property owners at an AGM (like this morning), negotiating in a business meeting, or taking a customer to the doctor's, my dresses, smart trousers, shirts, and high-heel shoes come out of the wardrobe, my face gets painted with the care of an Indian warrior, perfume is sprayed on, and my hair is blow-dried, straightened, and brushed (as much as possible) into place. All of this, of course, without going over the top, nothing too flashy or provocative, that is a no-no in our world.

Now, it has been just over a year since the initial total lockdown caused by the pandemic and, following the general trend, my interpreting work has also moved online. Besides, most of the time with the camera off, because interpreters, unlike children, should be heard, but not necessarily seen.

However, my work outifit has remained the same,full gear, lipstick included. Why? Because if I look good, I feel good, I dress like I mean it, even if no one is going to see me. And you never know! Someone, at some stage, might ask you to turn the camera on and that has actually happened to me once or twice!.

So here is my tip: dress the part!

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