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Testimonial Cristina

By Cristina (English and Spanish), traduction française Lara Gasztowtt
22 August 2013

I am a professional translator and interpreter and have been working on a freelance basis since 2004.

I first heard about ICVolunteers through one of my colleagues who, having taken part as a volunteer interpreter at one of their conferences herself, highly recommended the experience to me.

I felt extraordinarily lucky when I contacted the Geneva office, willing to offer my services as an interpreter: it turned out that at that very time there was an ongoing programme organised by the UN (Indigenous Fellowship Programme) for which they were still in need of a Spanish interpreter.

It was agreed that I would participate in the programme for two weeks and that I would then extend my participation as an intern translator for a further two weeks at their Rue de Carouge office.

Working as an interpreter for the Indigenous Fellowship Programme has been an undoubtedly positive and invaluable experience: the framework itself (UN), the topics, the strong team spirit between the interpreters and the close relationship with the final client.

From a strictly professional point of view, the opportunity to work within the heart of the UN, getting to know its mechanisms and activities in the field of human rights and, particularly, being able to work as an interpreter at its headquarters at Palais des Nations and Palais Wilson, has been an extremely fulfilling experience.

In addition to this, my experience in Geneva has also encouraged me to practice my French, and I now feel confident enough to consider using it as one of my working languages in the future. It turned out that I had not forgotten the language as much as I thought and in fact, I did some interpreting from French into Spanish.

After two intense weeks of interpreting work, my translation internship at the ICVolunteers office began. Having worked as a freelancer for a number of years (which can feel like quite a solitary job at times), I hoped this would provide me with an excellent opportunity to acquire new experiences within the heart of an organisation, to understand its internal operation and to feel part of its team.
My main project was the translation of a guide on best practices in organic agriculture, although I also helped with the translation of some other articles to get them ready for publishing as required.

During these weeks, ICVolunteeers showed a great degree of flexibility, allowing me to combine my translation work at the office with some interpretations in Geneva.

So, what have I gained from this time with ICVolunteers?
A new perspective, a rewarding professional experience, a bunch of fantastic colleagues, specialised knowledge in new and diverse areas and an extended professional network as well as the opportunity to get immersed in the French language.

To sum up, a highly recommended experience.  

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