Anna is our interpreter of the month for July
Our interpreter of the month for July is Anna, one of our highly experienced Ukrainian interpreters. We thank Anna for all the effort she is putting into helping people in these challenging times.
It was a pleasure speaking to Anna about her almost three-decade-long interpreting career. From her education in Ukraine all the way through to helping the current surge of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict.
I was still living in Ukraine when, in 1995, I started doing interpreting work. At that time, it was mainly with the German language. I was a university student and the reason I started interpreting was because I found it interesting to learn about different people and different cultures.
Decades of experience
I came to live in the UK in 1997. As my first job I started working with Kent County Council. I was helping the refugees escaping from Chechnya, as there were a lot of people arriving in this country during the 1997–99 period. When I moved to Surrey in 2000, I continued my interpreting work. I worked mostly in the immigration sector, for example at airports. I also interpreted for immigration interviews, as well as working with the police.
It was once the pandemic hit that I decided to undertake more telephone interpreting and became particularly busy with Clear Voice.
Helping Ukrainian refugees
The wave of Ukrainian refugees means there is a lot of work right now. My experience in the refugee and immigration sector is very useful for this. But it is quite dramatic at the moment. With what these people are going through, sometimes you also feel like you want to cry. As an interpreter, it is important though to remain neutral and just convey the messages. I find that England is a very tolerant and welcoming nation, and there’s a lot to learn from that. A lot of charities have been developed in the UK and the work that they do is really helpful.
Working with Clear Voice
Interpreting is something I enjoy doing. It is good to be useful – to be that bridge between people. Interpreting is never boring because every day brings a different case. The positive feedback is nice too. People are always very grateful.
The flexibility it offers as freelance work is a pleasant thing. It’s nice to be your own boss, to be able to choose when you work and how much you take on.