“I think hybrid events will be the new norm in the future. There will be conferences and meetings with participants and interpreters attending in-person and remotely, and I believe KUDO will be one of the main platforms used in these events.” – Grace Tabaluyan

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 blog features Grace Tabaluyan, a conference interpreter with over 7 years of experience in translating and conference interpreting. Grace recounts her start in the interpreting field, one of her most inspiring stories working as an interpreter, as well as her thoughts on the future of KUDO.

How did you become an interpreter?

I was already working as a freelance translator at that time, and I decided to expand my skill. Out of curiosity and without much expectation, I did a placement test to enroll in an interpreting course and quickly found out that interpreting is not an easy task. Nevertheless, I was accepted into a program. In the fourth session, something clicked, and I discovered that while interpreting is challenging, it is also exhilarating!

I finished all three levels of interpreting courses and then started to get job offers. In my very first interpreting assignment, I felt that I had found my passion, and the rest is history.

Why do you love what you do?

Everything! The chance to learn from experts in conferences, the travels I get to do as an interpreter, meeting new people and expanding my network. It’s a constant learning experience.

Please recount your most surprising experience in this business.

Traveling to Europe for the first time in my life for an interpreting assignment was an experience I will never forget. My job as an interpreter not only allows me to learn a lot about various subjects, but it also opens a whole new world for me to explore and fulfill my wanderlust!

How did you become acquainted with KUDO?

At the beginning of the pandemic, on-site events were canceled so clients canceled my booked on-site assignments. In my free time, I started browsing the web to find more information about interpreting job opportunities. Thankfully I found KUDO. I soon registered and did the onboarding process with Lara (thank you, Lara!).

Interpretation opportunities in my language pair on KUDO were still rare at that time as clients were also still adjusting to the new situation. Then I found and joined the Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies (OSMS) linguist group. The linguist group consisted of professional translators and interpreters who were working together as volunteers to get the publications of the OSMS group localized to many languages and to provide interpretation in their virtual meetings.

KUDO was very generous and provided several months of free use of the platform for OSMS’ meetings. It was in this group that I learned more about KUDO. Some of us had the opportunity to be trained as an operator/moderator in KUDO meetings (hats off to the operators/technicians that help meetings run smoothly!). OSMS held meetings in which OSMS volunteers from around the world exchanged knowledge, shared lessons learned and challenges. Interpretations in many language pairs were provided by volunteer interpreters in these meetings.

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

I think hybrid events will be the new norm in the future. There will be conferences and meetings with participants and interpreters attending in-person and remotely, and I believe KUDO will be one of the main platforms used in these events. KUDO also put the interests of interpreters as one of their top priorities, and the high standards set by KUDO will be applied by everyone in the industry.

Grace Tabaluyan is a professional conference interpreter & translator based out of Jakarta, Indonesia. Her working languages are English and Indonesian, and she has more than 7 years of interpretation experience.

KUDO Interpreter Feature Grace Tabaluyan

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