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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, 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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