Meet the Speakers #ATA58: Roberta Barroca



As we gear up for the ATA’s Annual Conference in Washington DC this October, let’s learn more about the speakers we’ll get to see during sessions associated with the Portuguese Language Division!

Below you will find a summary of their presentation(s), as well as a brief interview.


foto book profissional 5An Octopus, a Hologram, or Hepburn: What Kind of Interpreter Are You? (I-3)
Roberta Barroca
(Thursday, 3:30pm-4:30pm; All Levels; Presented in: English)

Being an outstanding interpreter goes way beyond the actual act of interpreting. There are many qualities one must have and many errors to avoid. This session will address the most common mistakes interpreters make in an enlightening and fun way. The speaker will raise the audience’s awareness of what needs to be improved by using humorous analogies between interpreters and animals, celebrities, and characters. Desirable qualities will also be showcased in the same humorous way. Join us for a laugh and walk out of this session a better interpreter.

Roberta Barroca is the new PLD Assistant Administrator for the 2017-2019 term. She majored in journalism, but has discovered her true passion working as an English>Portuguese interpreter for the past 10 years. In addition to ATA, she is a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters. She also dedicates time to writing articles on her LinkedIn page. 


How did you come up with the idea for your ATA58 session?

“An Octopus, a Hologram, or Hepburn: What Kind of Interpreter Are You?” is based on an article I wrote for LinkedIn a while ago. The inspiration for the article came from my experience in the booth. I felt like writing about rights and wrongs for interpreters in a fun yet straightforward way. You’ll find the resulting article at her LinkedIn page.

What has been your biggest professional reward?

Being a bridge between coaches, spiritual gurus, and motivational speakers, on the one hand, and, on the other, people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to amazing life-transforming experiences.

What is the best trip you’ve ever been on?

India! I went there as an interpreter for a wisdom and meditation school.

What is on your bookshelf?

Right now I’m reading “You are a Badass.” In case you’re wondering, yes I am, and so are you if you really want it!

In 40 years, what will you be nostalgic for?


What is on your to-do list?

Prepare my slides for the presentation at ATA58.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I almost always put ice in my coffee and I like to goofy dance.

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