Meet Hero, our interpreter of the month for May
Every month we celebrate the achievements of one of our outstanding interpreters and thank them for their hard work and dedication. Our May interpreter of the month is Hero, one of our Kurdish Sorani interpreters. We appreciate your hard work, and the whole Clear Voice team is very proud of all that you do!
We felt honoured to speak to Hero about how an encouraging teacher was so important in her journey to become a professional interpreter, all the rewarding aspects of the job, and the valuable flexibility that it comes with.
Hero came to the UK in 2012 after arriving from Iraq to join her husband who had been living in the UK for a long time. Having graduated as a civil engineer in Iraq, she already spoke good English, but arriving in the UK she went to college to study language, as well as business.
It all started with voluntary work
Before joining Clear Voice in July 2016, I did voluntary interpreting work mainly for a Kurdish community. Whenever I was asked to help out in various situations, whether at the GP or in college, I would be happy to interpret for them. I had a teacher in college who always asked me to help with interpreting, sometimes in Arabic, but mostly in Kurdish Sorani.
I didn’t see helping people as a job
I was always doing interpreting, but I didn’t think about it as a job, helping people. I remember that one day my teacher called me and told me about a Kurdish lady who was homeless and needed our help. I spent the day interpreting for the homeless lady, helping sort her problems out. My teacher could see that this was something I found fulfilling and advised me to take on interpreting as a job. It gave me the idea that maybe I could interpret professionally.
An encouraging teacher
It was because of my teacher, who kept constantly encouraging me, that I completed an interpreting course in 2014. I thought it was a useful thing to have this qualification, but I still wasn’t sure about becoming a full-time interpreter. However, her encouragement gave me the confidence to pursue interpreting as a career, so I applied for a job with Clear Voice.
Working with Clear Voice
I like this job a lot, because I like to find a way to help people who are in difficult situations, and interpreting for them is my way to offer some help. What made me choose to apply with Clear Voice is that it works with Migrant Help and other similar charities. I feel that I am able to better understand the situations these people are facing because I’ve been through the same immigration system and this experience is helpful.
People have suffered a lot because of the war in Iraq, I can understand what people are going through. Being able to empathise with the difficulties they are experiencing does bring back memories, and I remember at the beginning it was emotionally hard, but it’s been a long time, and I have a lot of practice managing these situations.
I used to do a lot of face-to-face interpreting as well, but now that I have a 2-year-old daughter to look after, I find it very helpful to be able to work from home doing telephone interpreting.