Meet Gentjana, our October Interpreter of the Month
Our October interpreter of the month is Gentjana, an Albanian interpreter who has worked with us for 10 years. Thank you so much for all of your hard work, the dedication you bring to your interpreting and the high standards you set!
It was great to speak to Gentjana about why she became an interpreter and to hear how much she loves her work.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Gentjana and I am an Albanian interpreter. I came to the UK in 1999 with my little boy and my then husband. I was a qualified speech therapist but coming to a new country was not easy. My qualifications were not recognised and so I had to start from the beginning. I studied to become a psychotherapist and I then worked for Barnardo’s in my first job. I then worked as a therapist at The Minster Centre and other charities, working with refugees, asylum seekers and families experiencing domestic violence, before eventually becoming a full-time interpreter.
How long have you been working with Clear Voice?
I have been working with Clear Voice since 2012, so for quite a while. I started working as an interpreter as a second job. Psychotherapy, much like interpreting, is a career that requires a lot of clients, so I was looking for additional work and interpreting was the ideal fit for me. I enjoyed it so much and found it so interesting that I took it on full time.
Do you prefer face-to-face or remote interpreting?
My main focus is face-to-face interpreting, which is what I enjoy the most and my real love. But the telephone interpreting complements that, for instance I will do telephone interpreting on the days when I do not have a face-to-face appointment.
How did the pandemic affect face-to-face interpreting?
Well obviously, for a long time, face-to-face appointments were impossible. Just before the pandemic I had started to complain about the travelling to face-to-face interpreting: “I cannot handle the travelling anymore, it is too much.” The pandemic was like God wanted to remind me what life is like without it.
I will never complain about travelling anymore, as long as I live. I love my job. I love what I do. I travel to places I never ever thought of going and meet people I never thought I would.
What do you find enjoyable and fulfilling about interpreting?
What I love about this job is the opportunity to handle so many different situations, to be there for the client. You are the mouth of the client, to be their voice. Being able to explain exactly what they need, exactly what they want and that whatever they want to say is expressed as they intended is so important.
I don’t see any downsides to interpreting at the moment, I really love everything. In the beginning, I did find the travelling a little bit challenging but, like I said, after COVID, I would not wish this away.
As an interpreter I go to places that I never thought of going and meet people that I never thought I would, even interpreting for royalty.
Does your own experience of immigration help you interpret for people going through similar situations?
It informs your interpreting, because you know one thing for sure: You know exactly how they feel. You have been where they are. You know what to say or how to be, but of course you are there in a professional capacity so it is important to maintain those boundaries.
What would you say to anyone considering becoming an interpreter?
I would encourage people to become an interpreter. It’s never boring! You meet so many interesting people and experience so many different situations.