Marianne Schlögl

“I have to prepare a lot. You look at what the topic of the debate will be. Who takes part in it? Who are the participants? It’s really important to know, what their background is.” Marianne Schlögl works as an interpreter at the Forum Alpbach. As a simultaneous interpreter she has to be very quick and highly concentrated, for she speaks at the same time as the speaker. Kind of a restriction: “You have to get used to the fact that you are repeating things that other people say. It’s a service that you’re offering.”


Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?

My name is Marianne Schlögl, I’m an interpreter and translator with the languages English, German and Romanian.

Worum geht es in Deinem Job?

Forum Alpbach is a place where people from Europe and other countries can, meet, exchange ideas, debate, get it touch with people they normally wouldn’t have access to - politicians, scientist, various area. I’m here as an interpreter. There is simultaneous interpreting, when you sit in a booth like we have here. You speak the same time as the speaker, so the thought process happens in the same time and the other have headphones and they can listen to you. There is consecutive interpreting too. You have a notebook to take notes. There is a special sign language for that. When the speaker is finished after 5-10 minutes, you step up and translates hat the person said. I have to prepare a lot. You need to look at what the topic of the debate will be, who takes part in it, who are the participants, what are their backgrounds. Either if it’s a political background, what they have done in their past, because they might make a reference to that. Then you start to look for vocabulary that might come up. It’s good to know and get a feeling for what a person is like. Like this you can guess what the person would say and what their stand will be certain topics. Sometimes you can look up the speakers on YouTube to get used to their accent. So you’re in a booth, and usually have a very good view on the speakers. There are always two persons in the booth. You change parts in every 20-30 minutes, because 30 minutes is the maximum, your attention can keep up. Things that are very hard to interpret is, for example numbers. You have to write them down immediately unless you forget them very fast.

Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?

I was born and raised in Vienna. I went to school and university there. Before the university I did a voluntary internship in Romania and this is how I added my second language Romanian. So I’ve started studying translation with German, English and Romanian. I did my BA in transcultural communication and my MA in conference interpreting. I spent half a year in Bucharest, Romania, which was very good to enhance my knowledge. I did a lot of internships in Austria and abroad. They didn’t have to do anything with interpreting, they were just interesting. After the university I had two small interpreting assignments. I did translations on the side. Then I was recommended to Forum Alpbach.

Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?

You cannot be an interpreter without having had training, because it combines talent and training so no, it’s not possible. You should be interested in all kind of things. Sometimes you confront stuff, like technological issues. You think “oh, they’re very boring,” then you start to read into the topic and figure out everything can be really interesting. Also, you need a very good knowledge of your mother tongue. Sometimes someone didn't finish a sentence and you need to feel how you could finish it. Otherwise you need to be very quick and communication skills are never to be missed.

Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?

First of all, it’s the fact when I’m done. I’m done, because I don’t really like to spend too much time on one job. I always get to know new things and learn many things, it's just great. We had Sir Michael Marmot here a scientist, who talked about welfare and poverty(???) . The way he was talking was so nice, he was so active. You really enjoy working like this, because you can feel the energy and the motivation. It's a great feeling to have.

Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?

You have to get used to the fact that you’re repeating things, other people say. Of course it’s not only that, it’s just one aspect, but it’s a service you’re offering. You’re not the person on stage. If you rather to be that person then you should look for other things where you can be more creative and work more freely. The market is limited on interpreting, it depends very much on your language skills and how the market will develop - but you can not just live being an interpreter in Austria.

Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!

Don't get drawn into the system where everybody tells you to be really fast and effective. Go and look out of the box. Check out some other fields of studies even if you're not finishing with the BA. It doesn't only counted that you have a BA. What counts is to have experience and you can analyse situations and it doesn't matter how much time it costs you but it's more important to get there.