Interpreter feature – Nathalie Greff-Santamaria

interpreters, KUDO Team

Interpreting since 2012
Languages: FR (A), ES (B), EN (C)
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

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

This blog features Nathalie Greff-Santamaria, a KUDO veteran with over ten years of interpretation experience. Nathalie shares what inspired her to become an interpreter, how she got started at KUDO, and one of her most memorable experiences in the industry.

Why did you become an interpreter?

The first time I could not understand someone’s language was when I was 5- or 6-years-old, and I still remember it. It was my great-grandmother. Her mother tongue was Poitevin, a language influenced by French, English, and Spanish due to several invasions. That day, my grandfather had to interpret (consecutively) everything she was telling me and vice versa.

I still remember looking at my grandfather and thinking that I wished I could understand everything like him. Many years later, I realized how important this moment was in my childhood and how much it has guided my curiosity for language.

How did you find KUDO?

I saw a post on LinkedIn that read something along the lines of, “Are you a conference interpreter? Are you interested in a 6-month internship in New York where you will learn the KUDO platform inside out and interpret every day? Do you have French in your combination? Submit your application today.” I did, it was in 2018, and I’m still here!

Most incredible experience in the industry?

In May 2011, Jean Échenoz came to Argentina and gave a talk at the Malba Museum hosted by Pedro B. Rey. I remember one moment very vividly. Before the interview, we were queuing up in the museum’s hallway. I vaguely remember the female silhouette that walked past us in line to the still-closed door. Her words resonated with me: “Good evening. I am the interpreter for the French author who is going to speak now: may I come in?” The attendant opened the door for her and guided her to the interpreting booth, invisible to the public. As a recently graduated interpreter, the first thing I felt when I heard those words was a lot of admiration and longing that never ceased to grow over the years for this incredible profession. In this instance, my passions of interpretation and literature combined within a stunning setting. I asked myself: will I ever be in her position?

Six years later, by a combination of coincidences that have never ceased to amaze me, I found myself in the shoes of that interpreter. I was in one of the most fantastic booths that a film buff like me could ever dream of, interpreting for esteemed author Jean Échenoz not only once but twice! The second time at the National Library, Borges room, for an author who was the subject of my master’s dissertation. Such a myriad of interpretations and readings!

The twists and turns of life.

What is your role at KUDO, and how has interpreting prepared you for it?

At KUDO, I’m a Language Operations Manager on the Language Services team, and being a Conference Interpreter is essential to our team.

Indeed, from the very first day, KUDO’s goal was to build a multilingual platform for, by, and with interpreters, so… here we are!

My background as an interpreter gives me insight into how to best support our interpreter network and clients. I’m also able to weigh in on KUDO innovations that support both interpreters and clients down the road.

All those aspects contribute to the success of a meeting.

Not yet a KUDO Certified Interpreter? Check the eligibility criteria and join today. Already certified? Apply for KUDO Pro status.

What is KUDO?

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