“It’s not just about languages… people tend to focus on the linguistic aspect too much, and not on all the other skills that are necessary to become an interpreter… the analytical mind, we have to be aware of all kinds of different things… And you have to be curious enough to be interested in everything.
Featured photo courtesy of NATO Parliamentary Assembly: Getting the message across in the Faroe Islands, a conversation interpreted by Dominique Mamet.
DOMINIQUE MAMET was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, of immigrant parents — a French-speaking father and English-speaking mother. She spent a year studying Linguistics in Venice, Italy and she earned her M.A. in Translation from the University of Montreal, in addition to an M.A. in Conference Interpreting from the University of Ottawa.
Her professional experience is vast and diverse (which is what I love about her!): She spent 12 years in public service interpreting for the Canadian Parliament and 4 years in the high-tech industry doing technical writing and localization (translating computer program interfaces). She was on the teaching staff of the M.A. in Conference Interpreting program at the University of Ottawa for 3 years and a jury member for various accreditation exams.
Dominique moved to Brussels with her husband and 2 young children to work for NATO in 2014. She is proud to have volunteered at the first She Runs, He Runs, We Run race organized by Anne Rosner at NATO and hopes to run it this year.
A few words of wisdom from the wonderful Dominique:
“Interpreting has allowed me to travel extensively, to discover places I might otherwise have never seen, to understand the true meaning of geopolitics, to be a citizen of the world.
Interpreting is also a study in human nature. I have had the opportunity to encounter the most diverse people and witnessed the entire spectrum of human behaviour. But what sticks out in my mind is those moments when I have been inspired, awed, and moved by the passion, commitment, and brilliance of scientists, politicians, farmers, soldiers, diplomats and so many others who have the courage to stand up for what they believe in, and who altruistically devote themselves to making the world a better place.
Interpreters are invisible, yet very present, not themselves taking the decisions that make the headlines the next day, but constantly making split-second decisions about meaning, context, culture, and wording. It is a high-intensity profession, with no safety net, that provides endless learning opportunities and the right dose of adrenaline, often leaving us mentally exhausted, but satisfied that we have done our part to bridge cultures.”