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ATA’s Interpreters Division Interpreter Connections

September/October 2023 Issue

By the Interpreters Division Blog Team (Interpreters are a vital part of ATA. This column is designed to offer insights and perspectives from professional interpreters. The following was originally published on the blog of ATA’s Interpreters Division.) There were six of us in the Zoom breakout room: all of us interpreters, all members of ATA’s […]

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Finding Your Power in Ethical Decision-Making

May/June 2023 Issue

By Milena Calderari-Waldron How many times has a colleague approached you with, “The other day [fill in the blank] happened to me. What do you think I should have done?” When confronted with an ethical problem—as opposed to an ethical dilemma, which is where one must choose between two conflicting ethical codes, inevitably transgressing one […]

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Chuchotage—Separating Fact from Fancy: A Film Review from an Interpreter’s Perspective

November/December 2021 Issue

How many hours have I spoken in these dark, tiny booths, hidden in the back of the room? I’m a man in the shadows. I’m not part of the protocol, yet here I am, interpreting politicians, tradesmen, lawyers. I’m the guardian of secrets. Countries and millions depend on me. I live by strict rules. Nothing […]

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To Be or Not to Be Certified: The Dilemma for Non-Spanish Interpreters

May/June 2021 Issue

In an industry where the majority of professionals are freelancers and where subject matter expertise cannot be easily judged by clients or intermediaries, certification remains the gatekeeper to quality. Hiring a translator or interpreter without verified qualifications or certification is a very risky endeavor. The result may cost a limited-English-proficient (LEP) individual their life, a […]

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Overcoming Accent Bias in the Courtroom

January/February 2021 Issue

Recently, I attended an online seminar about implicit bias in court settings. Among other things, the presenter spoke about accent bias and how, in some cases, it can undermine the credibility of a witness. Later, I read an article that stated that sometimes juries give less credibility or stop paying attention to expert testimony when […]

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Cognitive Testing Using an Interpreter

November/December 2020 Issue

(The following was originally published on the blog of ATA’s Interpreters Division, I recently completed an interpreting assignment between a developmental psychologist and a child with autism during which the child was given a cognitive test. I have done many of these sessions over the years and remember being disappointed on several occasions that […]

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What I’ve Learned from Remote Court Interpreting

September/October 2020 Issue

Since passing the Colorado French court interpreter certification exam almost exactly a year ago, I’ve been interpreting two to four times a week in the Colorado state courts. I love the work, and I’m not saying that just in case one of my managing interpreters reads this. At first, my goal was simply to pass […]

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Acoustic Shock: What Interpreters Need to Know

July/August 2020 Issue

(The following was originally published on the blog of ATA’s Interpreters Division, Acoustic shock can have very serious implications for interpreters but we’re not paying enough attention to it. This issue has gained more awareness in the context of remote interpreting during the pandemic, but also in the context of colleagues who experienced acoustic […]

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Interpreting in the Face of a Pandemic

May/June 2020 Issue

(The following was originally published on the blog of ATA’s Interpreters Division, On January 21, 2020, the state of Washington reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. On February 29, it announced the country’s first COVID-19-related death. The virus has since spread across the country, just as it has around the […]

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