25 September 2018

Behind the Scenes of the United Nations General Assembly: Mélida Buendía, Senior Spanish Interpreter

The world’s largest gathering of international dignitaries is being held this week at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City! Over the next week we will be introducing some of the people behind the scenes of the UN General Assembly who make what has been called the World Cup of Diplomacy happen! Over the course of the series we’ll get a firsthand glimpse into various departments within the UN and how they prepare for some of the busiest weeks of the year at the United Nations.

Interpreters at the United Nations are tasked with translating live conferences and events which often cover a wide range of subjects. They’re often briefed on the meeting merely one day in advance, and consequently must possess a vast vocabulary that covers everything from peacekeeping and human rights, to agricultural policy and maritime law. They must also have a mastery of multiple working languages of the United Nations, as the UN relies on a relay system, meaning interpreters are often translating between different languages as opposed to solely one language to another. Suffice it to say, interpreters here at the UN are kept on their toes!

In the third installment of our series we introduce you to Senior Spanish Interpreter Mélida Buendía. She shares her experiences from working in the Spanish Interpreter’s booth for almost 20 years, and what it feels like to have her voice heard on the world stage during the busiest time of year at the United Nations. She also shares with us some of her favorite memories from the UNGA...spoiler alert: they include Shakira and Pope Francis!

 

Behind the Scenes of the United Nations General Assembly: Mélida Buendía, Senior Spanish Interpreter

Mélida Buendía, Senior Spanish Interpreter, in the Spanish interpretation booth in the UNGA.