Instant Celebrity

In the past week, the Pope’s visit to the U.S. and other areas has of course made headlines. As popular as he may be, however, the apparent star of the show is the Pope’s charismatic interpreter, Monsignor Mark Miles. Twitter and other social media is a buzz with comments about Monsignor Miles, and for good reason. In an age where LOL and IDK are common forms of speaking, the attention to the beauty of language is a welcome addition to the headlines.

As the interpreter for the Pope’s star continues to go strong, other recent or fairly recent interpreters who have gained a social media following are being rejuvenated. Take former Mayor of New York’s passionate Lydia Callis, for instance. Hers is still a household name for her on point interpreting during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Lately, her articles and updates have resurfaced. She is using her abilities and contacts to the advantage of the hearing impaired community, and bringing awareness to the interpreting community.

And what about Jonathan Lamberton, the certified interpreter who garnered all the attention during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press conference about a possible Ebola outbreak? His interpreting sent the twitter feeds flying, when people had a difficult time grasping why the ASL interpreter was signing with someone in the audience. Jonathan has been using his celebrity to bring awareness to the field as well.

So what does this mean? Our technology age brings about the need for celebrity in all forms. Fifteen seconds of fame lasts a lot longer than its name suggests. Will this fad continue? And will the outcome be more international focus on the interpreting community? We want to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts on the rise of celebrity in the interpreting community and what that means for the future of language and interpreters! Post your comments on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages!

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