It's Wedding Day! But How Do You Interpret "I Do"...?

When most people think of community interpreting they probably think of work settings such as professional business meetings and large conventions, not wedding interpreting!  

Wedding days are stressful in general, but imagine one where your family and your spouse’s don’t speak the same language! Such was the case for a couple in Boston – the bride’s family was Colombian and the groom’s was American! Luckily our Spanish interpreter was available for the special day!

Our interpreter was in charge of interpreting the ceremony, the reception and toasts, and facilitating conversation between the families. When asked if he felt more like an attendee at the wedding rather than a working interpreter he said that, while he was constantly keeping his role in mind, he did feel the joy of the event and was happy to be part of such a special moment.

Wedding and Community InterpretingAfter the initial ceremony our interpreter sat at the dinner table with the families of the newlyweds, interpreting toasts from each side. This, he said, was his favorite part of the evening. It was an extremely emotional exchange of words, and ensuring that the blessings and welcoming’s of family and friends were understood by all was a fulfilling experience.

It’s important not to forget that interpreting for events is still a job, and all jobs have their difficulties! Our interpreter described the challenges of hearing over the music at dinner as an obstacle; however, both families understood each other and got along fine making the evening a great success!

Community interpreting is more than just conveying meaning; it’s also making a direct impact on the lives of others. In the words of our interpreter: “It has a much more personal aspect. Usually interpreting is just about what the speaker is saying. With this kind of interpreting what is being said is still a main element, but it’s centered more on who the people are and what they’re doing. For wedding interpreting in particular: these are people, family and friends, joining to start a life together. The interpretation is not just of their words, but their emotions and actions as they watch people they love take part in such a special moment”.


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Yana Fisher

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