This can’t be fun…

Giving people bad news is never fun – but I can’t imagine how much it’s got to suck for a translator/interpreter to have to deliver news like this to someone:

A translator who sat beside Miguel Bartolo at his two-day trial informed him he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a 24-year-old woman.


Granted, it’s not like the guy got the death penalty or something but I imagine this kind of stuff happens every day – especially in the legal or medical fields. It’s got to be draining, even though they aren’t your words I can’t see how you could ever disassociate yourself with the content. You still have to speak to the person, and chances are it’s your eyes they’ll be looking in when the news registers with them.

Add to that trying to push those thoughts out of your head while you’re trying to process what’s being said and how to interpret it for the person you’re speaking to in the most sensitive way possible.

I’d love to here from folks with experience – do you just tune out the emotion and get as literal as possible or do you need to internalize it a bit in order to deliver the news?