“Boarding the plane on a deserted tarmac, with machine guns on either side of the runway, was a scene straight from any notable action movie.” – Anna Vianna

At KUDO, we pride ourselves on having an incredibly talented network of professional interpreters. While being a crucial part of every single KUDO meeting, they are often behind-the-scenes players that are heard and not seen. In this series of blogs, we are bringing our interpreters to the main stage and highlighting them and their stories.

This week we are featuring Anna Vianna, a conference interpreter with over 25 years of experience living and working in Rio De Janeiro.

How did you become an interpreter?

I was disappointed with my career as a researcher in molecular biology, so I was looking for a change. My fluency in English and French naturally led me towards jobs where language was essential (e.g. hotels, travel agencies). In 1992, The Earth Summit was held here in Rio which employed many interpreters, among them my sister, who was starting in the career. She suggested I also study to become an interpreter and I did.

Why do you love what you do?

I can’t describe it; I just love it!

Please recount your most inspiring, incredible, or surprising experience in this business.

I can recall many moving, funny, crazy moments. We work with people and matters from all walks of life, so you are bound to meet interesting people and work with incredible topics.

One of the craziest things I can remember was being air-lifted by a Senegalese army plane when I was working for the International Monetary Fund in Guinea-Bissau, a tiny, Portuguese-speaking country in Africa. I was there with a Fund mission when the head of the armed forces was killed and, as an act of revenge, his soldiers killed the president (they were rivals). It was a crazy night of uncertainties and gunshots in the city of Bissau, but the IMF was able to secure a place for all mission members on an army plane from the neighboring country of Senegal. Boarding the plane on a deserted tarmac, with machine guns on either side of the runway, was a scene straight from any notable action movie. We were all safe and I went back to Bissau a couple of times after that. It is a struggling democracy, but it’s improving. I still have a dear friend there with whom I keep in touch regularly.

How did you become acquainted with KUDO?

I became acquainted through Ewandro Magalhães, a fellow Brazilian interpreter and KUDO’s Chief Language Officer. We worked for the International Monetary Fund many years ago and I have followed his career closely.

What’s are your predictions on how KUDO will change the industry?

KUDO was in the right place at the right time. The KUDO team was already working with remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) when the pandemic hit the market and the globe. They were able to reach more clients and keep us freelance interpreters working. It was a blessing!

I believe RSI is here to stay, be it for 100% online events or hybrid conferences. RSI has broadened the “clientele” so to speak. Many companies which before would have never thought of hiring interpreters for their international meetings, now have greater access to the service.

KUDO Marketplace is yet another important step in that direction. Having an online, straightforward way of hiring and being hired, 24/7, is groundbreaking!

Anna Vianna is a Conference Interpreter from Rio de Janeiro with over 25 years of experience. Her working languages are Portuguese, English, and French.

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