Meryem was born in Turkey, however has lived most of her life in Australia, making her home and raising a family in Mildura where she has been working as an interpreter for LanguageLoop for the past 15 years.
When Meryem’s family first arrived in Australia they lived in a migrant hostel in Villawood NSW with other Turkish families who had also recently immigrated. During this time her parents struggled to communicate with the Australian people and often had to rely on their children to interpret for them. Even at such a young age, Meryem recalls that she had a desire to help people have their voices heard and it was this early experience in her life that inspired her to bridge the gap and help all people communicate.
Looking back now she would never have thought that this early desire to help connect people through language would later see her build a career in interpreting. It wasn’t until her early 20s that Meryem completed her studies at RMIT and through pure determination, focus and drive, whilst raising her young family, realised her dream of becoming an interpreter.
“Believe me, it wasn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy” says Meryem. “I am passionate about helping others, and I truly believe that interpreting is a very rewarding career. I love that I can make a difference to the lives of the Turkish community in Mildura and can have their voices heard. These are my people, all trying to make a life for themselves in an isolated rural town.”
Whilst enjoying all the interpreting jobs that LanguageLoop offers, Meryem’s favourite assignments are those in mental health settings because as she explains “these days mental health issues are becoming ever more prevalent and often these people suffer in silence.”
Meryem believes that a good interpreter is professional in their approach to interpreting, whilst also being very empathetic to the client and their needs. “I understand and respect the Turkish culture and can work well with both the client and the person that I give a voice to” she explains. She also believes that continual development of professional skills and knowledge is essential for all interpreters. Meryem recommends that all interpreters should constantly take notes, particularly of technical terms, to continually help improve their vocabulary and performance.
Meryem’s favourite word in the English language is ‘passion’ as she says “it is a word that is the ultimate. Live with passion and love with passion. And ultimately, be passionate about the work that you do.”
It’s therefore not surprising that “do what you love, love what you do” a quote by Ray Bradbury, has exemplified how Meryem has lived her life and her career.
A proud grandmother of four gorgeous grandchildren, Meryem’s family is her passion. While working for LanguageLoop has given her the knowledge that she has been able to make a meaningful difference in assisting her community.