Congratulations to Riaz, our August interpreter of the month
Our Interpreter of the Month project celebrates the hard work and achievements of our fantastic interpreters. This month’s winner is Riaz, one of our incredible telephone interpreters, and we are honoured to share his story. Thank you Riaz for your dedication and high standards. The entire Clear Voice team is very proud of your work.
Riaz first came to the UK as a student and turned to interpreting as a result of life-changing health issues. Here is his story in his own words…
I came to this country from Pakistan as a student in 2001 – firstly in London where I studied a bachelor’s degree in politics, and then I moved to Leeds where I completed my masters in English Literature at Leeds University. I then decided to study for the ACCA accountancy qualification and alongside that I also completed a diploma in business administration. I applied for UK citizenship through the highly skilled migration programme (HSMP), and I received that in 2006.
To tell my story truly, the reason I became an interpreter is because of my health. Unfortunately, because of my health issues with diabetes I lost my eyesight, lost my kidney function and was on dialysis. My sister donated a kidney to me, but because of losing my eyesight I wasn’t able to do any job or work. I found that interpreting is the best thing I am able to do from home. It’s easy for me to work from home and I’m happy with it. My wife Salma helps me a lot, attending to video calls, links and emails. We married in 2005 whilst I was still a student in Leeds and have three children. She completed a master’s in chemistry, and our entire families are quite academic – doctors, engineers, and so on.
The pandemic has at times made working from home more difficult with everyone unable to go outside. Interpreting requires quiet and privacy, but my family have been supportive and helpful with enabling this, even though it has been a difficult time for everyone. Everyone at Clear Voice has been supportive too. Clear Voice are a special team. They know me and they are helpful to me. They are quite amazing, and I like to work with them.
I find interpreting very fulfilling. I speak 8 languages, so I interact with many different people from many different backgrounds. They have different stories, different problems, and listening to them and helping them, I enjoy that very much. Sometimes the stories are difficult to listen to, but it is rewarding to be able to help them. Learning languages was my hobby, speaking to different friends from different countries, and now I put that to use helping others communicate.
Interpreting is a job in which you have to really listen to other people because you have to interpret correctly what they are saying. And if you make a mistake you are making problems for other people. Not for you, but for the people for whom you are interpreting. Causing other people problems is not right and not fair, and so interpreting is a big responsibility. You have to listen keenly and correctly interpret. Their story should be returned completely correctly. It is really rewarding when you help someone by doing this.