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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, www.ata-divisions.org/ID/blog.) 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, www.ata-divisions.org/ID/blog.) 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, www.ata-divisions.org/ID/blog.) 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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Vicarious Trauma and Interpreters

March/April 2020 Issue

(The following was originally published on the blog of ATA’s Interpreters Division, www.ata-divisions.org/ID/blog.) The first time I heard of interpreters experiencing vicarious trauma was in 2000. First it was mentioned in relation to the interpreters working during a trial related to the Balkan Wars at the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. But the […]

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What We Call Ourselves Matters

November/December 2019 Issue

(The following was originally published on the blog of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, https://najit.org/#blog.) Every profession has certain requirements that allow a person to enjoy the benefits and respect of their respective titles. I’ve been wondering lately about all the people who call themselves “interpreters” and whether they all deserve to […]

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Got Assumptions? Proceed with Caution!

September/October 2019 Issue

(The following was originally published on the blog of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, https://najit.org/#blog.) We humans are biologically programmed to walk into a situation and immediately start to assess it, right? In fact, what we see around us will often dictate how we conduct ourselves—a true testament to our nature as […]

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Interpreting and the Power of Now

July/August 2019 Issue

Philosophers and spiritual leaders around the world have been talking about the importance of living in the NOW. Dredging up the past can be depressing. Excessive anticipation of the future causes anxiety. According to these sages, living in the moment is the key to happiness. Interpreting, especially simultaneously, brings us into the NOW more effectively […]

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Yes, Conference Interpreting Is a Thing

March/April 2019 Issue

“What are you studying?” During graduate school, when I was living in Toronto and constantly traveling back and forth between the U.S. and Canada, I got used to this question as the customs agent saw the student visa in my passport. It took me awhile to come up with a short answer because when I […]

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