A podcast about language and what people do with it: Conversations and stories with interpreters, translators, copywriters, and other fun professions and passions.
Bonus: Sergei Chernov on the history of interpreting
As part of my interview with Sergei, we also took a deep dive into the lesser known history of simultaneous interpreting in Russia. In parallel to Filene and Finley, a certain Dr. Epstein and an engineer called Goron developed their own sim system for the congress of the Communist International in 1928.
40: Sergei Chernov
The name Chernov is one of the big names in the interpreting profession. Like Kaminker, Herbert, or Seleskovich. So it’s no surprise that when I sat down with Sergei Chernov, now the chief interpreter at the International Monetary Fund, he started with a bit of a disclaimer:
Sergei: I am a second-generation interpreter. And my father was an interpreter and one of, well, what we might call the founding fathers of our profession. Interpretation, anticipation, inferencing, all that good stuff.
Sergei’s father, Ghelly Vasilyevich Chernov, was an eminent interpreter and a leading interpreting scholar. His most well-known publication is probably “Inference and Anticipation in Simultaneous Interpreting” - or “the good stuff”, as Sergei calls it. But there is a second disclaimer, actually, which has to do with Sergei’s job:
What we will be talking about here are my views, my personal views and opinions that do not in any way reflect the views and opinions of the International Monetary Fund.
You are listening to LangFM, and my guest today is conference interpreter Sergei Chernov. Of course, no one starts their career working as the most senior interpreter at one of the leading international organisations. So I was interested in Sergei’s roots.
39: The WISE Interpreting Workshops
José Sentamans and Joe Burbidge have been bringing interpreters together for peer-feedback practice since 2013. In August 2018, I sat down with them during a busy practice week in Brussels to talk about the past, present and future of the WISE interpreting workshops.
38: Michael Erard Bonus Track
Hey, thanks for tuning into this LangFM bonus track. As I mentioned in the main episode with Michael Erard, he was kind enough to introduce me to several researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen. But before we listen to what they have to tell us about their research, how about we start with a little story? The story of the piano in the basement.
🎶 Shady Dave: My love (piano loop)
37: Michael Erard
I visit writer Michael Erard during his residency at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, Netherlands. We talk about the institute, his writing, the language of the dying and the expat experience.
Michael’s official websiteMPI press release about the residencyMichael’s interview with former MPI professor Stephen C. LevinsonMichael’s NYT article on “what adults can learn from dutch children’s books”Michael on how “ISIL is using the language barriers within its ranks to evolve jihad beyond Arabic”Nightmare after nightmare: How to run a polyglot terrorist organisation“A New Metaphor for Language Learning” - Michael’s talk at the 2015 Polyglot ConferenceMichael presents Babel No More at Google🎶 Martijn de Boer: Nocturnal Improvisations (Duet)🎶 Martijn de Boer: Flowers for the loved🎶 Martijn de Boer: Breakfast Jazz Duo
36: Alexander Smith, protected by his innocence
This is LangFM, the podcast about language and what people do with it. My guest on this episode: fellow Alexander and former fellow conference interpreter at the European Commission: Alexander Smith. (You'll even hear him sing, by the way!) In 2017, Alex hung up his interpreting headphones for good. I jumped at the chance to sit down with him for a chat about his life in interpreting and in music.
You will notice that I really enjoyed talking to Alex. I don’t usually include my side of the interview in my episodes anymore. In this case, however, it seemed like a good fit. (Also, I set up my audio recorder incorrectly.) Pour la petite histoire, as Alex would say, he was there when I went on my very first interpreting trip abroad - what we in SCIC call a „mission“. The trip was to Reggio Emilia and I remember thinking, wow, what interesting characters they have in this interpreting service.
By the way, the music extracts throughout this episode are from two bands that Alexander’s been involved in: „About Time“ and their album „Songs from underground“, and folk band Bothan. Their album is called „Binnorie“, and the other band members (and fellow SCIC interpreters) are Elise Docherty, Jane McBride and Andy Upton.
Check out Alexander's YouTube video "English as she is spoke"
Bothan's band website
Alex on "English as she is spoke"
Amazing episode, what a treat to hear about this interpreter's life and work.