the linguist’s story – Parmjit Butler

Tell us about the work you do for TLS.

I am a freelance interpreter working for TLS. I have varied roles, from doing face to face, telephone and teams online meetings.

What’s been your favourite project at TLS?

No one project – my favourite thing is the variety of meetings and calls I have to interpret.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge I would say is interpreting personal matters of clients, knowing they are going through challenging, stressful times and having wellbeing issues. It can become hard to switch off at times.

Can you tell us about a time your work has made a difference to someone’s life?

A few days ago I had to interpret for a young lady who was going through a very difficult domestic violence issue at home, and just to hear in her voice that she could speak out and somebody was going to listen and be her voice so she could try and get the support she needed… She was so thankful for me to be on that phone line.

Tell us something interesting about you.

I was born in England but my first language growing up at home was Punjabi, as my mother didn’t speak any English. I wish I had started interpreting a lot sooner in life, as I get a lot of joy from helping to speak for people with language needs. I feel as if I finally have found my forever job.

What are your ambitions for the next 12 months?

My ambition for the next 12 months is to work as hard as I can doing what I love. I get such a great sense of achievement doing this. I want to try and start doing some voluntary work too.