The million

Challenges sometimes turn out as unpredictable adventures, and A Word In Your Ear has certainly done that. When I started this blog no-one thought the idea was worth a cent. “Interpretation is not an interesting subject”, they said, much less on social networks; my friends told me the whole subject would be exhausted in three videos. So it didn’t look good.

But I am persistent and I have clear ideas, and one idea I had was that, with a good format, regular publication and careful control over the quality of content, the project could work out — and so it has. That is how we have reached a million hits on Youtube. If you added in visits to my other sites the million would have been reached long ago, but Youtube is what counts because Youtube is where everything started. When I set the site up I remember joking that when it reached a million visits I would close it down — but could I really?

To answer that question you have to take stock. Has it been worthwhile ?  Has it worked as expected ? Has it been easy or difficult ? Have there been more triumphs than setbacks ? The answer to these, and the thousand other questions I could ask, is yes. Yes, barring the odd disappointment, it’s been worthwhile. This project has probably been the most difficult challenge I have ever set myself, and it has been the most enriching one in all senses ; it has allowed me to work with the best professionals, talk to interesting people, visit exclusive places and learn a lot from all of them.

A Word In Your Ear has allowed me to enjoy myself and feel useful. For someone like me who believes in sharing, it has been really rewarding to make conference interpreting known through its practitioners, to bring them into the global community and to get our job better-known and more respected and valued.

Reaching the million has taken consistent work and lots of imagination, because regularly finding topics in an apparently dry subject was never easy. It was crucial for me to be able to call on the creativity and generosity of all the great professionals who have confided in me. Without their trust, [their] putting themselves in my hands to be filmed — particularly at the beginning, when the potential of video was not yet so clear — none of this would have been possible. They have shown the generosity of the great as against the meanness of the mediocrities who try to hold you back, to stop you growing and singling yourself out.

So thanks to all those who have taught or helped me, especially Dick Fleming, Claude Durand, Paco Hidalgo, Alan Rodger, Renée Van Hoof-Haferkamp, Peter Sand, Alexander Drechsel, Anne Marie Widlund-Fantini, Christopher Thiéry, Xema Sainz, Neil Munro, Javier Saseta, Natalia Sánchez, Cyril Flerov, Barry Olsen, Matthew Perret, Anne Ford and Andy Gillies.

And of course thanks to all of you, from Bolivia to Yemen, from the USA to Thailand, thanks for having followed so faithfully from all over the world. If my videos have been useful to you, if they have allowed you to know us better, to understand our work, that is thanks enough for me.

Yes, years have passed and a lot of things have happened since A Word In Your Ear was set up, but it has all been a positive adventure, and I don’t think I can carry out my threat; yes, we have reached a million hits, but no, I couldn’t any more do without what the project means and has meant to me.


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