Surviving Interpreting Quotes

Students often ask me about who the speakers we get to interpret throughout our professional careers are more likely to quote.

If you know a simple and direct answer to this question, you definitely know more than I do.

True, there are some ‘usual suspects’ for every language and culture. Shakespeare, Churchill, Gandhi & MLK would probably make the top of any list for English. Oscar Wilde might be pretty high up on that list too, and you can definitely expect the Bible and the LOTR.

But what I usually tell my students is that you may never know. Not really. And there are no shortcuts.

Which is why I urge them to read, to watch, to listen, and to absorb new content and quotable information in all the ways possible and imaginable. There’s no need to look down on the Harry Potter books, because I personally have had to interpret Dumbledore quotes at least twice, as well as a couple from Beyonce’s lyrics.

And just earlier this week Simon Coveney, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, made a strong point for making sure you were up on your Star Wars quotes, ending his speech at the World Forum For Democracy with a quote from Yoda himself:

For as a small, green, wise man once put it:

Try not. Do. Or Do Not. There is no try.

Featured image borrowed from this cute little list.

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