Troublesome Terps

The podcast about things that keep interpreters up at night.

About the show

Troublesome Terps is a roundtable-style podcast covering topics from the interpreting space and the wider world of languages. The hosts - Jonathan Downie, Alexander Drechsel, Alexander Gansmeier, and Sarah Hickey - discuss them amongst themselves or with high-profile guests from the industry.

Troublesome Terps on social media


  • Episode 36: Interpreting - This is a Woman's World

    22 May 2019  |  1 hr 12 mins

    While the Troublesome Terps have covered gender in interpreting before already, it is a topic that will never not be relevant. For this reason, Sarah Hickey - conference interpreter and professional researcher at Nimdzi Insights - is joining us this episode to discuss the ‘feminisation’ of conference interpreting from female interpreters' perspectives.
    An interesting, well researched and entertaining look into the gender dynamics of the profession!

  • Episode 35: Talking Business with Florian Faes of

    17 April 2019  |  1 hr 12 mins

    Sometimes it feels like language professionals forget that they are just that - professionals with a business "attached" to them. While being a wordsmith or having "a way with words" is perfectly fine, the economic elements must not be forgotten.
    Enter Florian Faes, co-founder and managing director of, the language industries biggest (and only?) business focused one-stop-news-shop. The Troublesome Terps grill him on the origins of the website, business trends is seeing across the globe and why we should care in the first place.

  • Episode 34: The Crystal Ball of Interpreting

    20 March 2019  |  56 mins 46 secs

    In this "back to the roots" episode of the Troublesome Terps, Jonathan and the Alexes take a look in their crystal ball and have a discussion about what the future of the interpreting market could look like, that might be considered controversial.
    Ever thought about additional services interpreters could offer or where your responsibilities as interpreter start and stop? Then this is the episode for you! Let us know what you think down in the comments or on Twitter, we really want to hear from you!

  • Episode 33: Exchanging thoughts with Corinne McKay and Eve Bodeux

    20 February 2019  |  1 hr 19 mins

    Interpreting and translation are two sides to the same coin - or so they say. Joining us on this exciting crossover episode are the two hosts of the "Speaking of Translation" podcast Corinne McKay and Eve Lindemuth Bodeux to talk about just that!
    What are total interpreting and translation stereotypes and - gasp - might there be a grain of truth? How do translators stay focused on a 200 page document? How do interpreters deal with double bookings? What are the boons and banes of working from or into your second language?
    Join us for this banter-filled episode with tons of insights into "the other side" (whichever one that may be for you!) and find out about these - and many more - controversial topics!

  • Episode 32: Our year 2018 in review

    24 January 2019  |  1 hr 21 mins

    2018 was truly another blockbuster year for the Troublesome Terps. Not only did was our first - and certainly not last - live event in London a bona fide hit (thanks to all the supporters and attendees!), as always we covered a wide range of different and super interesting topics this year.

    Humor in interpreting and our very best travel tips and tricks provided some levity, discussions on feelings/emotions in interpreting and why interpreting research matters, provided some serious food for though. Our very first AMA (As Me Anything) was also a great experience thanks to the fantastic questions we received beforehand. Of course, we wouldn't want to forget the professional associations double-episode or our first ever cross-over event with The Vocal Fries.

    So, thanks again for an incredible year and here's to an equally amazing 2019! As always, if you have any suggestions, feedback or anything else you would like to let us know, leave it in the comments or send us a tweet, Facebook message or email.

  • Episode 31: The 2018 Live Event

    20 December 2018  |  1 hr 10 mins

    It finally happened. The three Troublesome Terps got together for their very first live event at The Roebuck pub in London!

    With almost 40 guests, we discussed two topics. First, we covered the topic of "Lies We Tell Clients". These "untruths" cover many different aspects, whether it's changing your quote for the umpteenth time or whether it's telling the client that "of course" you already have a team in waiting, although all your "usual suspects" are already booked. We talk about what to do and where to draw the line.

    Afterwards, we started with our second topic for the day, the ever current "Don't be a Diva". As with most things in life, it does take a village. From the actual end client, to organizing interpreters, your booth partners, technicians and other event staffers - it's crucial to treat everyone like you would want to be treated. Sometimes that means taking a step back, sometimes it means having to wait a bit longer. However, we also discussed the fabled "anti-divas", so make sure to check it out!

  • Episode 30: Alex and Alex do London Met

    10 December 2018  |  1 hr 48 mins
    live, students

    When in Rome - or London as it were - why only settle for one live event when you can have two?
    On November 17th, hours before the big podcasting event at The Roebuck, the two Alexes were invited by Danielle D'Hayer, course leader of the MA Conference Interpreting at London Metropolitan University, to join her and a group of students in their language lab for a lively Q&A session.

  • Episode 29: Aline Casanova in the Feedback Loop

    27 November 2018  |  56 mins 6 secs

    Giving and receiving feedback is a crucial part of not only becoming an interpreter, but also continuously improving yourself, your business habits and your interpreting skills.
    Aline Casanova and some brave fellow interpreters joined forces and introduced the world to InterpretimeBank, a platform by and for interpreters. InterpretimeBank is for honing your skills, as well as giving and receiving feedback from a feedback partner. Aline joins the Troublesome Terps to talk about why it is important to keep on trying to improve yourself, what makes good feedback good and how to both, give and receive it.

  • Episode 28: Ask Us Anything 2018

    31 October 2018  |  1 hr 38 mins
    ama, interpreting, languages, podcast, translation

    Ask and you shall receive - and ask you did! For our very first Ask Us Anything episode, we received a ton of questions that kept you up at night.

    From speedy speakers to ABC language combinations, listening to your gut feeling and creating interpreting standards in the Arabic interpreting world - you sent us a wide range of questions that we relished in answering!

    Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this episode and let us know what you thought of our answers and if you have any other questions for a potential "Ask Us Anything - Part 2" episode!

  • Episode 27: Why Bother with Interpreting Research?

    20 September 2018  |  1 hr 2 mins
    academia, interpreting, practice, research, theory

    Certainly research is important in every discipline or field of work, but surely you have also sometimes wondered: actually, why should I care? Surely, it's not like in depth analysis of the voice-to-ear-span or complex and highly complex communication models help you be a better interpreter "out in the field", right?
    Well, luckily Jonathan and the two Alexes are here to help and discuss exactly why you SHOULD care and what research does do for you. Let us know what you think and let's continue the conversation!

  • Episode 26: Standing up for fun with Matthew Perret

    22 August 2018  |  1 hr 7 mins

    Have you ever laughed your head off in the booth or have you been gobsmacked by a joke that was thrown your way by a "fun" speaker? Interpreter and professional funnyman Matthew Perret joins the Troublesome Terps to shine a light on what silk purses, Mae West and German structure have to do with putting the fun in fundamentally difficult to interpret jokes. After all, not all jokes are a laughing matter!

  • Episode 25: We Iron out Your Travel

    18 July 2018  |  1 hr 14 mins

    Travelling is just as much part of an interpreter's life as speaking another language and dealing with a casual work-related caffeine addiction. Jonathan and the Alexes discuss the pros and cons of plane vs. train, hot chocolate vs. coffee, travel iron vs. water spray and a ton of other absolutely crucial travel aspects that will make your professional life (or just your upcoming summer holiday) so much easier!
    So buckle up, join us on this wild ride and let us know how YOU travel!

  • Episode 24: Get in Touch with Your Feelings (or Emotions)

    28 June 2018  |  1 hr 13 mins
    academia, emotions, feelings, interpreting, psychology, research, translation

    The Troublesome Terps are all in their feelings with guest host Caroline Lehr. Caroline not only has a PhD in emotion psychology, but also a keen interest in the influence of emotions on interpreters and the interplay between them and our performance in the workplace. A heady and insightful episode!

  • Episode 23: Professional Associations For Interpreters: AIIC & VKD

    12 June 2018  |  1 hr 12 mins

    Why should conference interpreters care about joining an interpreting specific association? What can associations do for the interpreters, but also vice versa: How can conference interpreters contribute to a productive life in associations?

    To discuss this very timely and important topic, the Troublesome Terps are joined by Sarah King, Secretary of the German Region of AIIC, and Karin Walker, Chair of the German Association of Conference Interpreters (VKD).

    Together, we discuss why it is absolutely worth joining an association, why wer are stronger together and talk about some very interesting projects, that AIIC and VKD have been working on, some of them even representing a collaboration between two of the largest conference interpreting associations.

  • Episode 22: Real Professions Have Professional Associations! (ATA & ITI)

    23 May 2018  |  1 hr 24 mins

    Many interpreters and translators are members of one or more professional associations. But why? What do professional associations actually do for the interpreting community and why should interpreters care?

    To discuss these and many more interesting points, the Troublesome Terps are joined by Corrine McKay, President of the American Translators Association, and Sarah Griffin-Mason, Chair of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

    They both provide fascinating insights into the projects professional bodies take on, the work that goes into it, why we should care and why it matters. Don't miss out on the this interesting topic and feel free to join the discussion!

  • Episode 21: Looking for Trouble with the Vocal Fries

    18 April 2018  |  1 hr 36 mins
    crossover, linguistics

    Hungry for more podcast? This month, the Terps are looking for trouble with the tasty Vocal Fries! Together with Vocal Fries hosts Carrie Gillon and Megan Figueroa, Jonathan and the Alexes discuss a wide variety of different topics from linguistic discrimination to gendered language to code switching and what's up with French in Canada or with Spanish in Arizona.