Tonight this interpreter took a long walk in beautiful yet bitter cold Dresden. When she came into the restaurant, she was immediately drawn to the object shown above: blazing flames in the fireplace promised to warm her up.
In reality that never happened, unfortunately. This beautifully design object war an illusion – the flames were obviously nurtured by some chemical liquid, but the glass screen was cold! There is a genuine fireplace in my living room, which has to be cleaned, aired, the fire is lighted up with great care, and then you have to have dry logs at hand to keep the fire going. Aferwards you need to dispose of the ashes regularly, otherwise the fire will not start properly, the glass window must be cleaned periodically – there is a lot of work involved. On the other hand, this fireplace heats the hole house.
That reminds me of so-called “interpreters” who present glossy business cards, promise the moon, sell themselves at lowest rates and even work alone as a simultaneous interpreter. Then, once negotiations begin or the conference starts, faces fall, for there is no “heat”, meaning that the quality delivered is not adequate. For 50% of the normal fees in most cases there is no thorough background research or vocab preparation, no professional further education etc.
Everything can be purchased at a low price, but in this case things tend to be done on the cheap. And then what you get is, in a manner of speaking, “the interpreter who came in from the cold”.