Blog

[e-Voice, the Division Interpreters Blog]

 

“The leadership council and I think that our blog will be an effective way to continue sharing the legacy of our predecessors as well as bringing forth the wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field.”

Carol Velandia
Interpreters Division Administrator
September 2015

  • [Wooded forest]The Trials and Tribulations of a Community Interpreter: Conference Interpreting, here we go! – Part 2

    By Pency Tsai

    June 21, 2017

    Here it is! Part 2 of “The Bird’s” venture into conference interpreting. We would love to hear from you on your own experiences delving into other venues of interpreting, so don’t forget to leave your comment.  ~Lorena

  • [Wooded forest]The Trials and Tribulations of a Community Interpreter: Conference Interpreting, here we go!

    By Pency Tsai

    June 10, 2017

    Enjoy part 1 of this candid story by Pency Tsai about broadening your horizons and dipping into other forms of interpreting outside your tried-and-true. It is a courageous and inspiring tale. Thanks for the Chinese Language Division for letting us share this article, which appeared in their Newsletter a couple of years ago.

    ~Lorena

  • [couple in a bench]Couples Counseling: Reimagining the Freelancer–Company Relationship, Part 2

    By Steve Lank

    May 23, 2017

    I hope you enjoyed reading the first part of “Couples Counseling.” Some of you have asked when part two is coming out. Well, here it is!
    Lorena

  • [couple in a bench]Couples Counseling: Reimagining the Freelancer–Company Relationship, Part I

    By Steve Lank

    May 9, 2017

    For those of you who missed it, my friend and colleague Steve Lank and his colleague Robert Sette, presented at ATA57. The topic was the relationship between freelancer and language company, which is often fraught with issues. However, it was such a delightful, lively, balanced session, one from which many, if not most, walked away with several “a-ha” moments on how to improve that relationship.

    So I asked him to write this article, a part 1 of 2, where he proposes several ways to approach the relationships with our freelancers or the agencies we work with. His analogies to real life relationships between friends, significant others, children, parents, bosses, colleagues, etc., bring to light that in the interpreting profession, things aren’t all that different. If we want to work together in harmony, being mindful of the value each party brings to this endeavor we call our art, we may do well to put some of these similarities into practice and thus improve our working relationships.

    After reading his article, I was reminded of something Rodney King said during the riots that were sparked by his brutal arrest 15 years ago: Can’t we all just get along? I think Steve’s article does a lot to bring freelance interpreters and agencies just a little bit closer to that possibility. Let’s work it out!

    As always, enjoy!

    Lorena

  • [checklist]Hiring an Interpreter? Five Points to Consider

    By Giovanna Lester

    April 25, 2017

    Ever think about what you need to consider when asked to interpret at a medical appointment, a Workers’ Compensation hearing, in court or related events, at a business meeting or at a conference?

    Read this step-by-step guide by Gio Lester, a very accomplished professional, who will help you speak eloquently and knowledgeably to your client. Do your part to help edify the interpreting profession and educate your clients, who are often hard pressed to distinguish the difference between a translator and an interpreter!

    You will be able to articulate gracefully what it is you do and why hiring you, a professional, is worth their pennies!

    As always, enjoy!

    Lorena

  • ["Trust me, I'm a certified interpreter"]What does it mean to be certified?

    April 18, 2017

    To be or not to be—a certified linguist, that is. The meaning of certification in our profession today has taken on a host of meanings, and this is not always a good thing.

    With end users of interpreting and translation becoming more aware of the importance of certification in specific settings, it is useful to review the meanings of terms like certified, qualified, licensed, registered, etc.

    This overview, provided by the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section of the Department of Justice, succinctly reviews what it means to be a certified linguist, and which questions are relevant to ask interpreters and Language Service Providers (LSPs) when entering into new business relationships.

    For more information on certification, check out The Savvy Newcomer’s recent post on the issue here: https://atasavvynewcomer.org. Helen Eby and Daniela Guanipa do an excellent job at fleshing this subject out.

    Aleyna

  • [Supreme Court]Roxane King: The Ins and Outs of Hiring a Certified Judicial Interpreter For Deposition or Trial

    Interviewed by Todd Persson

    April 4, 2017

    It is a good idea for all professional interpreters to be able to articulate what it is that we do and why the right credentials are important to supporting meaningful communication.

    This interview with Roxane King, which Todd Persson, co-founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners has graciously allowed us to re-post, showcases a court reporter’s appreciation for the importance of having a certified, professional interpreter for depositions and other legal proceedings.

    Roxane speaks eloquently, clearly and gracefully about broad aspects of our profession, and the details of legal interpreting, all of which can be transferred to interpreting in other settings, be it medical, educational or in the administrative hearing realm.

    It’s worth the read, no matter what field of interpreting you are engaged in. I hope you take from it some new ways of presenting what we do and have fun to watching the lightbulb go on in your end-users’ heads!

    Enjoy!

  • [coffee break]How to get ready in 15 minutes, but make people think you spent 20

    By Aimee Benavides

    March 21, 2017

    I had the good fortune to meet Aimee in person at ATA57 last November. I had been reading her FB posts for a while and always found them insightful, respectful and on point. So imagine my delight when she offered to join and drive a group of us in her spacious SUV (no doubt to cart all those kids and equipment around) to a local eatery, and be our designated driver to boot! When I asked her for an article, I was not surprised she submitted this little gem that will hopefully inspire you (men included) to get to a couple of professional conferences this year and kill two birds with one stone!
    I hope you delight in Aimee’s delivery!

  • [--]What do you mean I’m not perfect in every way?!?

    By Roberta Barroca

    March 9, 2017

    Well, she’s at it again! Bringing levity with serious subjects and making us laugh… at ourselves mainly. Totally relatable. Another fun article from Roberta, on a topic that will undoubtedly give you pause, maybe teach you something, and definitely elicit a chuckle or two. Laughter is the best medicine, after all and I know that I’m healthier for it! Enjoy!

  • [headset]Interpreting Delivery Platforms: Should You Get on the Bandwagon?

    By Hélène Pielmeier

    February 28, 2017

    In cased you missed it, InterpretAmerica, established in 2009 to provide a national and international forum for the interpreting profession aimed at elevating its profile, posted an article on their blog about Interpreting Delivery Platforms, or IDP’s for short. We bring it to you here, with permission from Common Sense Advisory, the T&I market-based research company keeping the interpreting profession abreast of the latest developments in the field. IDPs are here to stay, so we thought it important to share this research with you today. Read about what Hélène Pielmeier discovered regarding these delivery platforms here.

  • [Indigenous Interpreting+]Credentialed Training Program for Interpreters of Indigenous Languages

    By Linda L. Ford

    February 14, 2017

    In California, and especially my neck of the woods, speakers of indigenous languages like Mixteco, Triqui and Zapotec often struggle to be understood when accessing public services. Mistaken for Spanish speakers, they are assigned Spanish/English interpreters who are then quick to point out that these LEPs require a different language interpretation. Enter Indigenous Interpreters +, a service of Natividad Medical Foundation in Salinas, which is among the first of its kind to train bilingual and even trilingual individuals from the indigenous communities to provide effective communication to its members and medical, education and social services providers. Read more here about their newest credentialed training program and listen to the podcast they were just featured on here. I am so excited for this new resource, which is so much needed to help promote equity in our communities and can’t wait until they come train aspiring interpreters on the central coast!

  • [movie projector]ARRIVAL – Down-to-Earth Communication in a Time of Alienation

    By Marsel de Souza

    January 30, 2017

    Have you seen Arrival yet? Well, Marsel has. He wrote this in depth analysis of the movie, shared it on Facebook and LinkedIn, in both Portuguese and English, and shares it with us here. It’s must see for all interpreters! Don’t worry if you haven’t been to the theaters yet because it will make you want to rush out to watch it this very weekend! Enjoy!

  • [woman in distress]OCID – The Overwhelmed Conference Interpreter Disorder (a satirical article NOT to be taken seriously

    By Roberta Barroca

    January 17, 2017

    Sometimes you just gotta let off a little steam! Whether you are a conference interpreter or a medical interpreter, a court interpreter or a community interpreter, you will enjoy this hilarious article by Roberta Barroca, a Brazilian Portuguese conference interpreter. If you suffer from OCID, I hope you aren’t too far along on the spectrum! 😂

  • [View of The Andes]Armando Ezquerra Hasbun: From the Andes to the Republican Convention

    Interviewed by Cristina McDowell

    January 3, 2017
    Cristina McDowell is at it again, interviewing very interesting and accomplished colleagues. Read on for an insightful view of a professional interpreter who is coming full circle and giving back to our profession.
  • [Christmas tree]A Christmas Poem for Interpreters

    By Cynthia E. Roat

    December 21, 2016

    This poem by Cindy Roat is just too good not to share with you again. It’s a delightful “interpreter” twist to Clement Clarke Moore’s classic that begins ’Twas the night before Christmas.

    From all of us here at the ID Blog:
    “Merry Christmas to all, whatever you speak!”

  • [ATA57 Welcome Celebration]ATA57 Recap

    By Farah Arjang

    December 9, 2016
    We all have fond memories of our time at ATA57 in the beautiful city of San Francisco!
    The weather cooperated, it was one of the best attended conferences and the Photo Booth at the Welcome Celebration was so much fun! Be sure to watch the video whether you were in attendance or not. It really captures the spirit of the conference…as we hope this recap by Farah Arjang does, especially for those of you who missed it!
    You can be sure that next year’s conference, with Farah’s NCATA Chapter as the host, is guaranteed to be another hit! Hope to see you all there.
  • [flowers, festival, Kerala, India]Illiterate

    By Carol Velandia

    December 7, 2016

    Our fearless leader, Carol Velandia, is on an adventure pursuing her master’s degree in social work in India!

    Read all about her rich experience trying to learn the multiple languages of the subcontinent, including the wonder and ongoing humility at having to be the one unable to make herself understood. It really made me think about those we routinely interpret for, truly putting myself in their shoes: those relying on us for meaningful language assistance… You go Carol!

  • [classroom chairs]Interpreting Certifications in the United States: A Comparison – Updated Nov. 18, 2016

    By Helen Eby and Lorena Ortiz Schneider

    November 23, 2016

    Check out the updated version of the chart we posted last month, created by Helen Eby, of existing interpreter certifications. You will note that two California interpreter certifications have been added: the Administrative Hearing and Medical. These are the oldest certification exams in the nation, given between the late ‘70’s and 2008, (just before the great economic downturn) and among the most rigorous ever. Passing rates were in the single to low double digits, the majority of those who sat successfully for these exams possessing a high level of education.  In California, state certified Administrative Hearing Interpreters are qualified for interpreting during medical examinations conducted for the purpose of determining compensation or monetary award. Administrative Hearings are settings in which beneficiaries are seeking such things as EDD, DMV, Social Security and Workers’ Compensation benefits. Enjoy!

  • [Holly Mikkelson]Holly Mikkelson at ATA57 on Sight Translation, Court Interpreting and More…

    Interviewed by Marsel de Souza

    October 27, 2016

    Getting ready to attend ATA’s 57th Annual Conference? Start planning the sessions you won’t want to miss, like this one offered by Holly Mikkelson, the guru of court interpreting education.

    Holly was my professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey way back in the early ’90’s and as you will see in this interview by the ID Assistant Administrator Marsel de Souza, she continues to provide solid information on the value of sight interpreting in translation. She talks about her updated seminal book on court interpreting, due out next month, offers a glimpse into what’s involved in the federal court exam and underscores the importance of professional associations. Enjoy!

  • [Robyn Dean]Robyn Dean on Ethics: Metaphors or Values?

    Interviewed by Marsel de Souza

    October 13, 2016

    In preparation for the ATA conference, Marsel de Souza interviewed Robyn Dean, the Interpreters Division’s guest speaker at the ATA 57th Annual Conference in San Francisco.

    Robyn Dean is one of the leading thinkers in the interpreting field. Her Demand-Control Schema has become a key element of interpreting training in some universities. In other research about interpreting ethics, she has been developing some groundbreaking perspectives on how to think about ethical decisions, and we would like to share those with our readers and conference attendees alike.

    Read about the interview’s key concepts here. For the full transcript, please click here.

  • [stethoscope]Medical Interpreting Certification in the United States: a comparison

     Read an update here!

    By Helen Eby

    October 10, 2016

    Are you thinking about becoming a certified medical interpreter? Confused about where to turn? Well look no more. Helen Eby wrote this article, which originally appeared in Caduceus, the publication of ATA’s Medical Division, and has graciously shared it with us. It details 3 of the existing medical certification exams available in the US, complete with prerequisites, costs and passing rates.
    For those interested in legal interpreting, stay tuned for an upcoming post from Helen detailing the different certification exams available throughout the US.

  • [United Nations Interpreters: An insider's view by Sheila Shermet]United Nations Interpreters: An insider’s view

    By Sheila Shermet

    September 13, 2016

    Have you ever wondered what it is like to work for the UN? Sheila Shermet, a veteran UN interpreter, shares an insider’s view in this first of several articles focusing on how things work at the UN, its duty stations around the world, resident teams of staff interpreters, the different interpretation techniques used and much more. Enjoy being a fly on the wall!

  • [A Band Interpretation Can Ruin --Even End a Life]A Bad Interpretation Can Ruin —Even End a Life

    By Monica P. Almada

    August 30, 2016

    Monica Almada’s article is a sobering and grave reminder for each and every professional interpreter out there to take what we do seriously. Continual improvement, achieved not only by interpreting but by constantly educating ourselves, is an imperative if we are to do justice by all those we serve.

  • [Critical Link 8 Conference Recap picture]Critical Link 8 Conference Recap

    By Milena Calderari-Waldron

    August 16, 2016

    Couldn’t make it to Scotland this summer for the world’s biggest conference on Community Interpreting: Critical Link 8? Well, fret not, as Milena Calderari-Waldron, a staunch supporter of Community Interpreting world-wide, has sent in this dispatch from the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Read more

  • [Daniel Tamayo - Interpreting Competence]Interpreting: Building Competence (Part 2)

    By Daniel Tamayo

    August 2, 2016

    Have you ever struggled to explain all that goes into what you do to someone who thinks that interpreting is easy if you are bilingual? In part 2 of this article by Daniel Tamayo, GlobalTradu owner, conference interpreter and teacher, you will continue reading about the 4 pillars every interpreter worth their salt must rely on to reach not only competence, but excellence in their career. Click here to continue reading!

  • [Where is Our PRIDE? By Giovanna Contreras]Where is our PRIDE?

    By Giovanna Carriero-Contreras

    July 21, 2016

    GOT PRIDE? And I am not talking about a big ego! There are some important factors that would benefit even the most seasoned interpreter and help move our profession closer to greater unity. Consistent behaviors and practices translate into a strong professional identity, which in turn helps the world understand our profession a little more. The daily struggles to differentiate ourselves from mere “bilinguals” are real. Check out Giovanna Contrera’s first of several posts on professionalism. Enjoy!

  • [Daniel Tamayo - Interpreting Competence]Interpreting: Building Competence (Part 1)

    By Daniel Tamayo

    July 6, 2016

    Have you ever struggled to explain all that goes into what you do to someone who thinks that interpreting is easy if you are bilingual? In this article by Daniel Tamayo, GlobalTradu owner, conference interpreter and teacher, describes the 4 pillars every interpreter worth their salt must rely on to reach not only competence, but excellence in their career.
    In this first of a two-part series, you will learn about 2 of the 4 pillars. Stay tuned for part 2 coming out next month! Read more

  • [Entrance to ATA office]Dispatch from ATA Headquarters

    By Farah Arjang

    June 21, 2016

    Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall at an ATA board meeting? Farah Arjang attended the last one in April and sends this dispatch offering a glimpse of some of the goings on that pertain to interpreting. Read on!

  • [Toward a quieter code of silence - Image of a courthouse]From the Archives: Toward a Quieter Code of Silence: Upholding the Ethical Standard of Confidentiality

    By Jennifer De La Cruz

    June 7, 2016

    Got Confidentiality?

    Confidentiality is one of the top three ethical principles of every class of interpreting, be it medical, legal, conference or community. Though this article outlines examples from criminal court and was written a few years ago, interpreters in all fields of practice would do well to apply Ms. De La Cruz’ still very relevant examples to their own work. Read more

  • [Language Access Services - "welcome" and many hands]Saving Lives in Many Languages

    By Carol Velandia

    May 24, 2016

    In this post, Carol Velandia argues that “[i]mplementing CLAS standards and paying close attention to training both interpreters and bilingual personnel will improve healthcare outcomes for LEP patients.”

    Read more to find out how medical providers can do more to raise the bar for their LEP’s while saving financially in the long run. Read more

  • [puzzle pieces]Cristina McDowell: Member Spotlight

    May 10, 2016

    She was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, learned French, then English, at school. Took Latin and Greek in high school and graduated with a degree in English and German translation. And that was just the beginning. Cristina McDowell was featured in 2016 Winter issue Member Spotlight of Caduceus, the Medical Division newsletter. Read her story here. Read more

  • [Book Review]Book Review: Introduction to Healthcare for Spanish-Speaking Interpreters and Translators

    By Cynthia E. Roat

    April 26, 2016

    Interpreting is rather like scuba diving. With just a bit of protective equipment, we interpreters plunge for a short time into an often alien world, where a mistake can be very serious, not only for ourselves but for the other divers who are depending on us to understand their surroundings. And as all who dive, we interpreters find this daily foray into a new environment fascinating, exhilarating, but also at times, challenging. Read more

  • [notepad and pen]From the ArchivesPractical Tips for New Medical Interpreters

    By Rita N. Weil

    April 12, 2016

    1. Dress appropriately as a professional. Wear comfortable shoes, no sneakers.
    2. Always have water with you. Some assignments can be unexpectedly long.
    3. Bring a snack with you such as nuts, string cheese, and fruit. Read more

  • Review of the ALC 2015 Industry Survey©

    By Helen Eby

    March 29, 2016

    Founded in 2002, the Association of Language Companies (ALC) is a US-based trade association representing businesses that provide translation, interpretation, localization, and other language services. Its goal is to deliver timely information to its members to generate more sales, increase profits, and raise awareness of the language industry. The ALC 2015 Industry Survey© is a key benefit distributed free to all its members who participate in the survey and at a reduced rate for members who elect not to participate. Read more

  • [theater image]Behind the Scenes Interview with Esther M. Hermida

    March 15, 2016

    Do you have a special interest in a particular sport, fashion, science or are you culinary buff? Ever wonder how to expand your interpreting opportunities? Interpret for one of your life’s passions?

    Well then you may want to check out this Code Switch Media article of a behind-the-scenes interview with Esther M. Hermida, a federally certified court interpreter for over 25 years, who was on the team chosen to interpret for the Red Carpet coverage of the Golden Globes on January 10, 2016. Read more

  • [waiter clipart - ASTM Standard F2089-15 at Your Service!]ASTM Standard F2089-15 at Your Service!

    By Milena Calderari-Waldron

    February 22, 2016

    Have you ever been asked to do a trial on your own? Have you ever felt stumped when asked for a definition of interpreting? Have you ever found yourself explaining your rates? Ever wondered if there is some useful language out there that you could include in your contract negotiations? Fret no more. The ASTM F2089-15 Standard Practice for Language Interpreting has come to your rescue! ATA, NAJIT, NCIHC, RID, and AIIC members in partnership with government agencies, language companies, higher education institutions and even an interpreters’ labor union came together to create a national consensus document laying down the ground rules and definitions for spoken and signed language interpreting services. Read more

  • [Meet the Interpreter: Diane Teichman - From the Ground up]Meet the Interpreter: Diane E. Teichman

    By Cristina McDowell

    January 18, 2016

    Interview of Diane E. Teichman by Cristina McDowell with the collaboration of Carol Velandia
    Read more

  • Medical Interpreters on a Different Stage

    By Helen Eby

    January 5, 2016

    March 2015. I was sitting at home, talking with friends. Ring!
    –Hello? This is Portland Public Schools. Could I talk to Helen Eby?
    –Yes… That’s me…
    –Are you available on April 16 to interpret for a Nobel laureate, Dr. Rigoberta Menchú, from Guatemala? Oh, please keep this totally confidential. We don’t want anyone to know about it except through us… Read more

  • [A Christmas Poem for Interpreters - Christmas tree image]A Christmas Poem for Interpreters

    By Cynthia E. Roat

    December 22, 2015

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. (…)

    Read more

  • [Remote simultaneous interpreting - featured image]Remote Simultaneous Interpreting: Options and Standards

    By Cyril Flerov

    December 15, 2015

    Even though experiments with Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI) have been taking place since the early 1970s, it is only relatively recently that we have heard more and more about this type of interpretation. Read more

  • [life or death]Hospital Language Access is a Matter of Life or Death

    By Carol Velandia

    December 2, 2015

    “Approximately 25 million people in the United States are defined as being Limited English Proficient or LEP. (…) Limited English proficiency and failure to provide professional medical interpretation and translation leads to medical errors based on poor communication during diagnosis and care. The LEP population presents disproportionately longer lengths of stay at the hospital, more surgical delays, surgical infections and falls than the rest of the population (…)” Read more

  • [Interpreting in progress]Interpreting in Progress

    By Gerardo Lázaro

    November 17, 2015

    “(…) The medical interpreting profession is still developing. The current trend in the national standard for basic training in medical interpreting is quickly shifting from a minimum of 40 hours of training to a minimum of 60 hours, for non-academic organizations.” Read more

  • [Lucy Kathan's featured picture]How I Discovered my Career Path as a Language Professional

    By Lucy Kathan

    October 30, 2015

    “(…) So I had, out of necessity, learned some secretarial skills. I suddenly realized that I already possessed other skills that were more important and useful than typing which might open doors for me.” Read more

  • [word cloud - Melinda]Meet the Interpreter: Melinda González-Hibner

    By Cristina McDowell

    October 15, 2015

    Read this great interview of Melinda González-Hibner by Cristina McDowell. Read more

  • International Translation Day 2015September 30th – Happy International Translation Day!

    By Marsel de Souza

    September 30, 2015

    In my view one of the greatest reasons we have to celebrate International Translation Day this year is because of the sheer diversity of our trade. It would possibly be enough to say that interpreters and translators operate from every corner of the planet, work in dozens of language combinations and serve every industry in the world, but this would only be part of the story. Read more

  • A Fresh Start[A fresh start - "blog"]

    By Cristina McDowell

    September 16, 2015

    Welcome to e-Voice! The voice of the interpreters, a departure from our traditional newsletter to a fast paced blog! Read more

  • [Legacy concept picture]Legacy, a Prelude of the Future

    By Carol Velandia

    September 15, 2015

    Launching a blog has proven to be a herculean task, as writing only comes to many after the experiences and ideas have settled in the mind and in the heart for long periods of time. It takes courage to share such ideas and a readiness to find resonance as well as dissonance with the public with whom you share such ideas. This is the first step in what we hope is a provocative and evocative collection of documents that will help our profession and our professionals stay relevant, inspired and motivated. Read more

 

Last Updated: June 21, 2017

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ata-divisions.org/ID/blog/

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