Translate this! CONSCIOUS UNCOUPLING

I’ve just read in the Guardian that Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured) and Chris Martin have split up. If you don’t know who Gwyneth Paltrow is, where have you been in the last 15 years? If you don’t know who the hell Chris Martin...

Who’s a pretty boy then?

Count Smorltalk hogs the microphone again Take a walk in Parc de Bruxelles this spring and you may suspect that someone is lobbing tennis balls from treetop to treetop. These balls of greased lightning zip across the sky trailing green streaks...

Translate this! HUMBLEBRAG

“This unhealthy genius-lust drives people to say things like, ‘My nine year old is reading Flaubert’ before adding, ‘in translation, unfortunately’ thus turning their ghastly boast into an even more ghastly...

What have the Romans ever done for us?

Count Smorltalk calls a spade a spade “Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”1 What indeed? Actually they gave...

In praise of nonsense

Count Smorltalk talks a load of old cobblers A good friend of mine, and a stupendous interpreter to boot, once made the profound and ever so slightly arch utterance, that the way to be a good interpreter was quite simple: “Know all the words”...

Falling on deaf ears

Count Smorltalk’s pearls “How was it for you?” I asked the nice blonde lady into whose ear I had but moments before been whispering sweet nothings. “Oh, very good. Very good indeed!” she purred. “I so admire your technique”. Now that is a...

Dial Mt for Murder

Count Smorltalk on the case again The Smorltalk column is back by popular demand, but don’t be surprised if this turns out to be my last. When the NSA terrorism algorithm chomps its way through this piece about murdering delegates I may be...

A severe case of the back-to-work blues

So here I am again, leaving home at an ungodly hour, somehow tired already (and the journey hasn’t even started properly!). Not having set foot in the booth for almost four weeks, I admit to myself that I am feeling anxious, dreading the...

How the Dickens?

Count Smorltalk reveals all How the Dickens did I end up agreeing to write about interpreting? After all, the only spare time I have is on the Eurostar and those deliciously semi-idle hours are more than adequately filled with vacant flicking...