Volunteer Story
[Hospital] Interpretation request from Arab husband and wife
Ko Jihye / English9 January 2014
I got a phone call requesting interpretation from an Arab couple. It was past midnight and they were at a hospital. The wife said that the “speed that ringer drops seems to be too slow and she was worried that something was wrong. I interpreted what she said to the nurse who was next to them and asked her to recheck if the IV flowing normally. After checking the nurse said that everything is alright so the wife didn’t need to worry about it. I interpreted it back to the wife and tried to comfort her. I was rewarded with her saying thank you for understanding her worries and helping her, and felt worth my time working as a bbb interpreter.
[Hospital] My First Voluntary Interpretation 'I'm allergic to this medicine.'
>Kang Heeman / English6 January 2012
I got a phone call when I was getting off work. She was a European who spoke English. She had a urinary disease so she visited a nearby urologist, and had just been prescribed some medicine. However, she was allergic to certain kind of antibiotics in the medicine, so her symptoms actually got worse than before she took the pills. So she visited the urologist again to change the medicine she's prescribed. b The doctor and the nurse were not understanding the situation at all. I interpreted what she said to the doctor and the nurse, and the doctor said that she can only prescribe that kind of pills, so the patient has to visit a bigger hospital in the region with the diagnosis she wrote. When I interpreted what the doctor said, she sounded to be a bit disappointed, but she appreciated me a lot anyway, so I could finish the call with a good grace.
[Taxi] A Phone Call from a Taxi 'I Have to Go to Suwon Station'
Jung Younga / English18 January 2015
A foreigner called me in a taxi. Saying that she has to go to Suwon station, she asked me to tell the taxi driver her destination. I asked her if it were a subway station, and she said yes. I told the taxi driver that she wanted to go to Suwon station and he said "then I took the wrong way!" He said that he came to Dongsuwon because what was written on the business card she gave him was "Korea Tourism Organization" and the address. I explained the situation to her and reaffirmed her destination, which is Suwon station. So I told the taxi driver to go to Suwon station and finished the call. I checked several times to see if she knew the right entrance because Suwon station is very big and I was worried if she would get lost.
[Airport] "You Cannot Enter The Country With This Passport."
Park Soyeon / French7 May 2014
A French couple who came to Korea to meet their son living in Korea requested bbb's translation. The wife lost her passport in France and had it reissued, but found the lost one after getting new passport. But when she came to Korea, she realized she had brought her former passport which was reported to be of the loss. Since she already got a new passport, she couldn't enter Korea with the one she brought. I felt so sorry because she was crying. I asked the Immigration Office about the situation and the officer said that if the Embassy promises to issue a new passport to her in 72 hours, she can stay in Korea till then. But the emergency phone line to the French Embassy was out of order, so they had to wait until the next morning. I was worried about her because she was trembling with anxiety. I helped her stay at a hotel in the airport with her husband who could pass through immigration. I kept trying to reassure her, and managed to do so by telling her that this kind of thing happens often so she didn’t need to worry. I was very pleased to help her in such a nervous-wracking situation and finally find a solution. I hope she had a good time and went back with a good memory!
[Real estate agency] Interpreting details about renting a house
"I Got My Own Room In Korea For The First Time."
Shin Misook / French17 January 2012
I helped in a communication between a French person who was going to rent a house for the first time in Korea and the real estate agent. Although those terms used in the process, in Korean, were the terms often used in my daily life, it seemed more complicated when interpreting them to a French person. There were a lot of things which should be carefully checked such as how to pay the house rent and the maintenance cost, what the maintenance fee covers, what things there are for him to pay separately, whether the cost include an internet connection fee. So I checked those things several times and tried to interpretate as exactly and minutely as possible so that there wouldn’t be any misunderstanding. I was called twice more after the initial call because there were extra things to check. Since bbb's system has improved, if a foreigner requests the interpretation service again within 30 minutes, they are connected to the same interpreter, so he didn't need to explain things again. It seemed that the French man understood everything well, and he thanked me and the real estate agent who called bbb. Residence problems are the first thing one encounters when going abroad, and the bbb system can help with the problem. I hope he will settle in Korea well using bbb's interpretation service.
[Police Office] An American Husband Who had to Arrange His Wife's Funeral
Jung Juyeon / English12 November 2014
A Wednesday evening around 6 PM, I got a bbb phone call requesting interpretation. When I answered, a man said "hello." At first I thought it must be about some simple cases such as having problems with talking to a taxi driver, or asking if one can use Korea's telecommunication service with the phone he/she brought from his/her own country. But when I heard the word "funeral", I realized that it's much more serious than what I expected. He said his wife had suddenly passed away in an accident, and he wants to have a funeral for her but since he's an American and there's a lot of procedure related to go through, he is still in Guri police office. Since I haven't experienced such important and grave matters like a funeral, I was very nervous and got very cautious about every words I interpreted. I still feel sorry for not haveing been able to be more comforting. I hope his funeral procedure went well, and I was of a little service to him. Since I have a job, I was not starting studying English on the pretext of business, but I decided that I need to study harder so that I can deal with diverse situations.
[Mobile Phone Shop] "I Need A Mobile Phone That Supports Russian"
Kim Yeokyung / Russian23 October 2014
I got a phone call from a mobile phone shop. A foreign woman bought a mobile phone on the installment plan because she was told that the phone supports Russian. But she couldn't find Russian anywhere and could only find Korean and English. She asked me what she should do in this case, and if she can change it to another mobile phone. The shop said that they think she simply can't find it, and they are going to try it in person. I hope that all was settled well.
[International Event] "A Call From Incheon Asian Game Athlete's Village"
Sim Chunja / Chinese18 October 2014
I got a phone call from a Chinese person in Incheon Asian Game Athelete's Village. She said that her friend who lives in Seongnam was going to send something to her, and asked me if she can receive the parcel in the Athlete's Village. I told her if her friend writes the exact address and phone number, she can get it with no problem. I added, if she is very worried, it would be safer to go to Seongnam in person and bring it back. She said she was going to stay in Korea from 18th to 25th. I hope she can set a record and have a good memory.