Right Language to Talk About Preserving Peace
Peace 50 is a community of influential women where every participant is an integral member of the team. They are all representatives of different countries, cultures, and fields of activity united by common values and the desire to preserve peace and develop the world. Maria Butova, who is a simultaneous interpreter, helps them understand one another better during the community’s summits.
simultaneous interpreter, interpreter of the Summer Peace Summit
Throughout her career, Maria Butova took part in the organisation of many events including high-level ones. Even though she currently works primarily in the financial sector, Ms. Butova has extensive experience in interpreting social projects. Those include programmes on combating drugs and poverty and initiatives on postwar reconstruction, gender equality, and women empowerment.
Maria Butova believes that each project of that type is in some way interesting for interpreters. Interpretation of such projects not only gives professional experience but also extends your knowledge about the world in a variety of fields and makes you perceive it differently.
– Why was it important for you to take part in the Summer Peace Summit?
– The proposal to become an interpreter of the dialogue of women from different countries inspired me. That topic is interesting to me. I believe that women can do much for the preservation of peace and global development. I am happy that I can somehow help them hear and understand one another and do something significant together.
The Summer Peace Summit impressed me very much. Interestingly, I met some participants of the community long before the event as part of my professional activities. I perceived them only as successful entrepreneurs and leaders. The Summer Peace Summit helped me to see them from a new perspective. Before that, I had no idea that they paid so much attention to social activities.
Those women evoke admiration because of not only their professionalism and career success but also their sincere desire to improve the world. They have kind souls and open hearts. That’s why they can achieve a lot jointly.
– You are also a person with an open heart and a kind soul. What is your social mission?
– As an interpreter, first of all, I strive to make sure that people understand one another and the meaning of the speaker’s message reaches the listeners.
There is an interesting novel Daniel Stein, Interpreter by Ludmila Ulitskaya. It is about the coexistence of people of different cultures and religions, the difficulty to achieve mutual respect, acceptance, and understanding. The main character bears a huge responsibility: the relationship between people and nations, and sometimes even their physical survival depends on how he interprets and transmits information.
Even when people’s lives do not literally depend on the work of an interpreter, this job makes it possible to unite people from different countries to let them carry out joint projects, help them exchange ideas and experience, and bring them closer together.
You can feel it in social projects very well. Over time, I realized that an interpreter working in the investment banking sector can make his or her contribution as well. He or she helps businesses attract capital, invest it, and create more jobs, thus giving employees and their families a chance for a decent life.
When a person working in any sphere understands that he or she is not just laying a stone but is building a temple, his or her work is filled with special meaning and brings much more pleasure.
– Interpretation is a very nuanced area. It is not enough for an interpreter to have a large vocabulary and translation experience. It is equally important to understand people at a deeper level. What other qualities should a good interpreter have?
– Erudition, intellectual curiosity, and the desire to develop constantly are very important for an interpreter. The range of topics is huge. That’s why a good interpretation is impossible without understanding at least the basics of different fields.
Of course, an interpreter needs emotional intelligence, the ability to decode people’s emotions, to understand as accurately as possible what they mean. For instance, that is especially important in negotiations when the interpreter often sets a common emotional background and helps build a bridge of understanding among people.
– As a person who communicates a lot with representatives of different countries, can you say what unites people of the world who are so different?
– Humanity is what unites people. When we begin to study psychology, human nature, we understand how similar we all are. People of different cultures and nations experience the same emotions, even though they may express them differently. It seems to me that universal feelings, such as love, kindness, care, and desire to help others live in everyone’s heart without any exception. That’s what unites people of all cultures, nations, and religions.
Unfortunately, we do not notice that sometimes and wrongly believe that we are too different just because we speak different languages.
– What is the role of women in establishing intercultural communication, in your opinion?
– Psychology has proven that women are more extroversive, more sociable, and open to others than men are. They are also naturally more friendly and willing to come to an agreement. That’s a scientifically proven fact. That is why it is often easier for us, women, to find common ground with other people, even those who seem completely different from us at all at first glance.
Communication and friendship among the Peace 50 community members make it possible to preserve and strengthen ties among people, communities, and countries. That’s especially important in today’s world, when people often adhere to a ‘dog-eat-dog’ principle.
The Second Summer Peace Summit was a warm event despite its online format. That’s another vivid example of how well women can hear and understand one another. They always rely on their human feelings in communication. I really want this circle of women joining their hands not to stop but to become only wider, thus embracing the whole globe.
Viktoria Yezhova, Global Women Media news agency
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov