As each language is unique, every interpreter behind that language, equally, has a unique story to share. Welcome to The Many Faces of Languages - a forum of thoughtful sharing and discovery.

We are pleased to offer this story selected for February 2023.


Story Introduction

With her story, Diem shares insight that interpretation is more than knowing two languages fluently. There are multitudes of other challenges to overcome, some of them unexpected and surprising. Diem,  through patience and persistence,  has learned to both identify and quickly take on all challenges which makes this profession rewarding beyond expectation.

Diem's Story


Being able to work at CanTalk as a Vietnamese interpreter has been a great learning experience for me. I have learned great customer service skills and telephone etiquette. I enjoy being able to help people, especially those people that have the same background as me. Being able to work from home is the most amazing part of this job. Especially in the cold winter weather of Canada, I feel fortunate that I can work from home.

Apparently, it's not an easy job like I thought it would be. I thought that I just needed to be fluent in the Vietnamese and English languages and I would be good to go. There are a lot of obstacles I needed to jump over before I got used to the job, such getting used to the phone system that we use to conduct our services.  I quickly learned that not all phone interpretations would be easy. I remember interpreting a labor delivery call, where the Mom was yelling and screaming out in pain and the doctor was trying to communicate hopelessly with everyone who didn't understand English. I had to use every ounce of my focus to grasp what was going on in the room.  But the point is, if I am looking for excitement and the fact that every day is different, then I will always learn something along the way and I will like this job.

More than that, the job of an interpreter brings me a sense of purpose in life as I get to help people on a daily basis and know that what I do makes a difference. I am so glad to be part of service as it is the bridge connecting people with people.

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