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.
LAW-7 On/Off the Record: Anatomy of a Deposition and How to Master This Niche
(Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm; Intermediate; Presented in: English with Portuguese examples)
Intended for experienced interpreters who want to branch out to a new area, this presentation will outline the procedures, expectations, and nuances of interpreting during a deposition or similar hearing. We will cover videoconferencing, how to make fast friends with the court reporter, dealing with “immigrant speak,” and logistics. Preparation (and survival) strategies, vocabulary, and dos and don’ts will also be addressed. Some examples will be given in Portuguese, but the presentation is open to all. Depositions can be tricky; after this session you will feel more prepared and confident to tackle a new interpreting environment.
MED-5 Where Is the Line and How Do I Draw It? A Deep Dive into Impartiality and Role Boundaries for Health Care Interpreters
(Saturday, 8:30am-9:30am; Intermediate; Presented in: English)
This session will explore two commonly misunderstood standards of practice for health care interpreters, impartiality and role boundaries, and strategies to uphold them. Both standards are essential to guarantee a patient’s right to equal access, and yet they can be tricky to carry out when a situation challenges personal values or pulls at heartstrings. The speaker will examine how an interpreter’s visibility, implicit bias, and self-awareness can help or impair communication. Attendees will leave with concrete suggestions on how to better visualize the lines they cannot cross and manage an encounter in which they are asked to step out of their role.
A Brazilian at heart, Elena Langdon has worked as an interpreter and translator since 2000. She is certified by the ATA as a translator (Portuguese into English) and by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters as a core-certified healthcare interpreter. She holds a Master’s in Translation Studies and has been teaching interpreting and translation since 2005. Elena was chairperson of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters and currently helps produce webinars for interpreter trainers for the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care. She is currently running for the Board of Directors of the ATA. In 2014, Elena left a full-time job supervising 50+ hospital interpreters in Massachusetts to focus on teaching and language access consulting.
How did you come up with the idea for your ATA58 session?
I have two sessions this year. One is on depositions, and I thought of this one because I find that depositions are not as straightforward as one might think, so providing some details and handy tips could be useful for experienced interpreters who have not done many depositions yet. The other presentation is on two tricky Standards of Practice for healthcare interpreters that students and some practicing interpreters seem to misunderstand.
What has been your biggest professional reward?
When a true rapport is established between two speakers of different languages and cultures because of my work as an interpreter—and if they laugh at each other’s jokes, even better.
What is the best trip you’ve ever been on?
Last year I went to Scotland for two weeks for two different continuing education opportunities. In between, I rented a bicycle and toured the area known as Borderlands, covering over 150 miles in 48 hours. I was alone with just a few maps to guide me. It was an exhilarating and life-affirming trip, during which I cried, laughed, sang, cursed, and thanked the universe for being alive. I HIGHLY recommend it for everyone, especially women.
What is on your bookshelf?
I am a true Gemini, and have about ten reading items on my nightstand/floor. I rotate through all, depending on my mood: The Women, by T.C. Boyle, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, by Thich Nhat Hanh, The Magician’s Assistant, by Ann Patchett, several editions of Runner’s World, The Sun, and The Atlantic magazines, and Lazy Day Sudoku, by Will Shortz.
In forty years, what will you be nostalgic for?
The laughter of my three young children.
What is on your to-do list?
It’s way too long to list here! A few things are: invoice CPCS, find glucosamine bottle wherever I lost it, finish preparing ATA presentations, change Amtrak tickets, fix headlight, set up treadmill, and grade students’ assignments.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
My favorite color was once gray.