Sally Gillespie, Interpreting (BSL/English)

As part of her Interpreting (BSL/English) course, Sally took part in a work placement.  Here's what she thought about the experience:

"For the majority of Wolverhampton BA (Hons) Interpreting (BSL/English) students, the highlight of the course is unequivocally the third year work placement.  At this point three years of theoretical study can finally be applied to the real world and students get an honest taste of life as an interpreter.

With such anticipation rife, it is unsurprising that I jumped at the chance to apply for a shadowing day in this, my second year, working with interpreters at BID Services (Birmingham Institute for the Deaf).  I was accepted onto the scheme and the BID team tailored an individual day plan, matching the interpreting situation that I was interested in with the BIDs bookings for the day.

As a self professed geek, I was in my element observing an interpreted meeting regarding very technical, seemingly uninterpretable jargon.  Later I was taken to the BBC news studios where the BID interpreters present the daily afternoon bulletin.

These situations couldn’t have been more different, showing how the variety of pressures and luxuries of interpreting change hugely depending on the context.  For example, the meeting had the benefit of being able to ask the speaker to slow down if needed, whereas the news bulletin was very strictly timed, but with the luxury of seeing the script in advance to prepare.

While at the BBC I was given the opportunity to produce my own translation which the interpreter then critiqued.  This was certainly a highlight of the day as I caught myself incorporating translation techniques that I had only observed in the morning meeting.  It was at that point that it became apparent how great an impact the experience would have on me.

I can see huge positive influences from my day at the BID.  My thanks go to the team at BID services and the University of Wolverhampton staff who made my experience possible.  It was a much needed boost in a taxing academic year, long may it continue for students to come."