Well, AFAIK travel time IS included in sworn interpreting. OK, this particular person lived nearby - but imagine travelling one hour there and one hour back (in Warsaw for example, if you live in the suburbs), effectively wasting two hours of potential work elsewhere.
Travelling from Zoliborz on the tube is one thing, travelling from her location of choice is quite another. I get travelling money every few weeks, at a set amount. I can live wherever, but anything above my allowance is my look-out.
The time someone became a sworn translator is neither here nor there. I am a "PRL-trained" translator myself and I don't think I turned out half bad.
The fail rate is much higher since they changed the exams, according to a friend (a language lecturer (not English) at UJ, who recently passed on his third attempt.
Your spoken English, however, if it's anything like your written English, is probably excellent. If I'd been using this forum in those days, I'd rather have PM'd you and asked for a recommendation rather than use the notariusz's buddy.
Simultaneous - WOW. My hat is off to you, sir. My brain is not up to that kinda stuff, I am only capable of consecutive interpreting.
I'm the other way round. It's as if the words pass through me like a river. Tiring though after a short while, whereas at a meeting recently where they were stopping every 30 secs or so for the translation I had a really hard time. My tiny memory can only hold three main points at the same time before overflowing. :-)
Don't ever put that in quotes! It is a profession and a very difficult one at that. You should know, if you've done it yourself.
Yes. The inverted commas were specifically about this lady. She was professional only in her fees. It can be a wonderful job, and people like that old trout (a relic of the days when the zloty was weak and most foreigners were comparatively rich and fair game to be overcharged, like Istanbul taxi drivers do today), can give the rest a bad name.
BTW - lots of you guys complain about sworn translators, but do you ever do anything about it?
The big problem is that we're forced to have them at all. A friend who works as an interpreter between English and Polish at the European Commission registered a company for something not long ago. He still had to pay a sworn translator! A British person with a Polish grandpa and passport who only speaks English, however....