The Interpreter’s best Friends – Dictionaries

Wörterbücher damals - Dictionaries back then
Wörterbücher damals – Dictionaries back then


Those were the first investments in my professional career – dictionaries! During my studies I spent my hard-earned money on dictionaries to make sure that the seminar “Political Translations” would not turn into a disaster… During my stays in Moscow, Florence and London I bought all the dictionaries I could lie my hands on. These dictionaries were more than precious for us. Back then our work was 100% paper-based – which is inconceivable today.

I recall the obligatory telephone conversation with colleagues before every single interpreting assignment – we discussed who was to bring what relevant dictionary. The aim was to reduce the amount of kilos to carry.

Many years went by. My “old” dictionaries sit on a shelf. Whenever I work on written translations, I still love using them. However, when I leave for interpreting assignments, my only companion is my Mac Air. The most important dictionaries are available electronically today – meaning that I bought them once again…and so many resources can be found online.

Today one of my first questions for the conference technician is: “Do they have WiFi here? And would it interfere with your equipment?” If both answers are positive, we will be able to look up our vocab online while interpreting.

Times are changing – and they have become as light as a feather! How beautiful!

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