When the coronavirus pandemic brought New York City to a halt, United Nations interpreters ran into big trouble: their booths and equipment were no longer accessible. However, they are rising to the challenge, exploring new ways to service multilateral meetings, including from their homes.

This story, with portraits produced remotely by UN Photo, documents how these professionals have been responding to new challenges COVID-19 added to their already daunting job of providing simultaneous interpretation in six UN official languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.


Full story here.

Lana Ayyad, Chief of the Arabic interpretation section, takes advantage of her savviness with technology to telecommute smoothly from her apartment in Brooklyn.

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Martin J. Pickles, an interpreter from the English section, finds ways to use technology and his interpretation tools to provide the same high quality for his interpretation. He currently telecommutes from his apartment in The Bronx.

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Adrián Delgado, a senior Spanish interpreter, considers it crucial to have a space that allows him to focus on his work. Nowadays, he telecommutes from his apartment in East Harlem.

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Konstantine Orlov, Chief to the Russian interpretation section, thinks out of the box to find alternative working areas around his from his apartment in New Jersey.

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Véronique Vandegans, Chief of the French interpretation section, balances telecommuting with family at her apartment in Brooklyn. Her children, Emma and Noah (on the left of the frame), support her during  the working calls.

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Qiyun Zhang, Chief of Chinese Interpretation Section, works from her home in New Jersey.

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