The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators promotes the highest professional standards in legal interpreting. Professional legal interpreting is required to ensure due process, equal protection and equal access to the administration of justice for non-English or limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. Judiciary interpreters work in court settings, but also out of court, when the proceedings may have legal consequences. For example, professional legal interpreters are required for accurate interpretation during depositions, administrative hearings or attorney-client interviews. Professional legal interpreters are also used in law enforcement investigations, or in the review, transcription and translation of recorded evidence.
NAJIT members include judiciary interpreters and translators, as well as conference, community and medical interpreters. NAJIT boasts a growing number of interpreters who work between English and American Sign Language (ASL), and counts among its members judicial officers and administrators, language service providers, academics and interpreting and translation students. While most of our membership resides in the U.S, some members live and work in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Anyone with an interest in the field of legal interpreting and translating or who shares NAJIT's interests and objectives is welcome to join.
- We would like to thank all of the candidates that ran for the Board
of Directors of the association. It is this type of volunteerism that is
the lifeblood of the association. We also would like to extend our
congratulations to the three newly-elected directors:
- NAJIT supports Red T’s Open Letter initiative on behalf of military
interpreters and translators. See the open letter
- Just Published
NAJIT has collaborated with several associations to develop a document that will support clarity in understanding the role of Translators, Interpreters, Transcriber-Translators and Terminologists. The entire document can be found here.
- August 12, 2016 - The latest installment of the “What Would You Have
Done?” feature of the NAJIT Observer is now available. “Has this -or
something similar- ever happened to you? Our colleague arrives in the
court for her assignment just to discover that the deponent was a native
English speaker and did not need her services. The request for a Spanish
interpreter was made because of the deponent’s Hispanic last name. No
fact checking took place…” Read the entire entry
July 29, 2016 – The latest installment of the NAJIT Observer
“Intervening with the Proper Terminology: How to navigate situations
while interpreting” by Armando Ezquerra Hasbun is now available.
“Professional interpreters are aware that the scope of their rendition
starts and ends with the source message. Accuracy and completeness are
the primary considerations. But what about the standards of practice for
intervening?” Read the entire entry
- July 15, 2016 - The latest installment of the NAJIT Observer, “La
Vie en Rose” by Ewandro MagalhŃes is now available. “I must have been
five or six, but I still remember vividly the day I realized I could
read. I was gingerly crossing an intersection in my hometown, my father
towing me by the hand, when the hazy neon light in the distance suddenly
collapsed into a meaningful string of letters: “c-i-n-e-m-a”.” Read the
entire entry here.
- July 8, 2016 – The latest installment of the NAJIT Observer,
“Interpreters Are Worthless” by Ana Garza G’z is now available. “It was
one of those weeks when everyone hates the interpreter. Weather is bad.
Call quality is awful. And tempers are slightly more miserable than the
shift. Of course, everything the interpreter does makes things worse.”
Read the entire entry here.
- July 1, 2016 - The third installment of our new feature on the NAJIT
Observer, “What Would YOU Have Done?” in which we bring real situations
for our readers to comment on is now available. The idea is for us to
help each other overcome or prepare for unexpected situations. Click
here to read the entire
- June 24, 2016 – The latest installment of the NAJIT Observer , “A
21st Century Colony in America” by Janis Palma is now available. “I am
often asked about Puerto Rico. Explaining our status has never been
easy, but recent events have suddenly made everything crystal clear.
Today’s blog is not about interpreting or translating per se, but it is
about events taking place in Puerto Rico that could have a life-changing
impact on interpreters and translators here on the Island.” Read the
entire entry here.
- June 17, 2016 - The latest entry on the NAJIT Observer, “Staying in
Touch with One’s Native Language” by Gio Lester is now available. “Week
before last, I had the pleasure of going back to my country to attend
and present at the seventh international conference of our national
professional organization for translators and interpreters, ABRATES. The
pleasure of being back home was underscored by the honor (and fear) of
presenting in Brazil, in Portuguese, to native speakers after a long
absence.” Read the entire entry
- June 3, 2016 – The latest entry on the NAJIT Observer, “How We
Handled a Complex Hearing”, an insightful piece by Jennifer De La Cruz
is now available. Read the entire entry
- May 27, 2016 - The latest entry on the NAJIT Observer, “The NAJIT
Renaissance”, a recap of the recent conference in San Antonio by Janis
Palma is now available. Read it
- April 22, 2016 - With the NAJIT Annual Conference right around the
corner, Janis Palma writes about “Business and Fun: mixing it up in San
Antonio” in the latest entry of the NAJIT Observer. Read the entire
entry here and we hope you
will “mix it up” on May 13-15, 2016.
- April 1, 2016 - Read the latest entry on the NAJIT Observer, “An
Interview with Katty Kauffman” by Gio Lester. The interview affords us a
peek into the judicial process in another country, Chile. Find the
entire entry here .
- March 25, 2016 - Read the latest entry on the NAJIT Observer,
"Building Bridges (to one another)" by Janis Palma. It is a very timely
piece. In it she writes, "It actually serves no one’s best interest to
create or encourage divisions among members of a professional group. And
while it would be unreasonable to expect everyone to agree on everything
all the time, we certainly can have an expectation of respectful
civility, even when we cannot see eye to eye on a given issue." Hear!
Hear! Follow this link to
the entire entry.
- March 4, 2016 - Read the latest installment of the NAJIT Observer,
“How Public Speaking Skills Can be Helpful to Interpreters” by Rita
Pavone. “Besides being an interpreter and a translator for over 20
years, I have also taught public speaking courses and presented at
interpreters’ symposia and other professional meetings. Speaking in
public requires a high level of involvement with the subject matter and
the preparation of the adequate delivery, depending on the objective and
the occasion.” Read the entire entry
- February 26, 2016 - Read the latest entry on the NAJIT Observer,
“Learning by Osmosis” written by Janis Palma. It provides a strategy for
professional development by connecting with more experienced and
knowledgeable colleagues. It is amazing what may “rub off”. Find the
entire entry here.
- February 19, 2016 – Read the latest entry on the NAJIT Observer,
“When Perception is not a Reality – Interpreter’s quality of service is
a vital issue” by Maria Teresa Perez. It attempts to shed light on the
reality of interpreter fatigue. “During the last ten years as a
freelance and staff court interpreter for the New Jersey Judiciary, I
have attended many meetings and discussed many topics dealing with
issues pertaining to the interpreting profession. I recall one meeting
in particular, back in October 2007, in which the topic was the
perception that many -including interpreters- have of interpreters’
fatigue, and the lack of understanding of the impact that it has on our
performance.” Read Maria Teresa’s entire entry
- February 12, 2016 - Read the latest entry on the NAJIT Observer “We
Are the Bridge in More Ways than One” by Gio Lester. It is a look at how
language access and fundamental fairness are inexorably linked. “We
often hear the argument that foreigners need to learn English and that
interpreting services are a drain in our justice and health care
systems. Most of us who work in those fields understand the importance
of language services and that they benefit our justice and health care
systems just as much or more than they benefit those who depend on it.
The principle of justice is fairness and there can be no fairness
without proper communication. Period.” Read Gio’s entire entry
- February 5, 2016 - Read the latest entry on the NAJIT blog, “The
NAJIT Observer” by Gio Lester. “I have been trusted with following on
the footsteps of our Founder, Maria Cristina, and Kevin, our second Blog
Administrator. The commitment is there to do my best, and since the blog
is a collaborative enterprise, we count on you also to help us make it a
success.” Read Gio’s entire entry
- January 29, 2016 - Read the latest entry on the NAJIT blog, “The
Lightness of Not-Being” by Janis Palma. “I recently became a regular
Staff Interpreter… as opposed to a Supervisory Interpreter. I changed my
profile description in one of those networking pages that is always
sending e-mails asking you to ‘congratulate so-and-so on this-and-that’,
so I suddenly had all these messages congratulating me on my new post.”
Read Janis’ entire entry here.
- January 15, 2016 – Read the latest entry on the NAJIT blog, “What Do
You Call THAT? Increased Demand for Hybrid Skills” by Gio Lester. What
do you call an animal with the body of an equine, a horn and a fish
tail? It is an interesting hybrid but it is not a horse, it is not a
unicorn and it is not a fish. The funny thing about names, nouns, is
that they define a common point of reference, and by doing so, they
facilitate communication on many different levels. Read Gio’s entire
- December 25, 2015 – Read the latest entry on the NAJIT blog, “Navidad en
Puerto Rico (Christmas in Puerto Rico)” by Janis Palma. Let me be blunt: I
will not call this the "holiday season" because in Puerto Rico this is
Navidad. Although the word does come from the Latin nativitas (nativity)
and, yes, it all started with the birth of Jesus, the truth is that in
Puerto Rico Navidad really means that the party starts in November right
after Thanksgiving, and ends in January, right after the Fiestas de la Calle
San Sebastißn, more recently known as la San Se. And it doesn't matter if
you are Catholic, Protestant, Baha'i, Jewish, Buddhist, agnostic... Navidad
in Puerto Rico is for everyone! Read Janis’ entire NAJIT blog post
- December 18, 2015 - Read the latest entry on the NAJIT blog, “Zen and
the Art of Interpreting (When You Really Wish You Could Say What You Were
Thinking!)” by Athena Matilsky, a look at how sometimes we have to interpret
through our own outrage. Find it
- November 30, 2015 – NAJIT raises concerns about new immigration contract
in letter to EOIR. Read the entire letter
- NAJIT Members: The newest edition of Proteus is now out! Check out the
2015 Fall Volume XXVIII, No. 3 Proteus today! Remember, you must be a
NAJIT member and logged into your account to view Proteus.
- Announcing a groundbreaking release: “Guidelines for communicating
rights to non--‐native speakers of English in Australia, England and Wales,
and the USA” by, Communication of Rights Group (an international group of
linguists, psychologists, lawyers and interpreters, whose names appear at
the end of the document)
Read it here.
- November 28, 2015 - The phrase itself should set off an alarm. Or perhaps “militant” is too strong a word. How about “the advocate interpreter”? Merriam-Webster defines militant as “having or showing a desire or willingness to use strong, extreme, and sometimes forceful methods to achieve something,” or, in short, “aggressively active (as in a cause).”An advocate, on the other hand, is “a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy.” Read the latest entry on the NAJIT blog, “The Militant Interpreter” by Janis Palma here.
- November 20, 2015 – “These days, when people ask me what it takes to be
an interpreter, I tell them one part language skills, one part interpreter
technique, and one part people management. When we embark on our
interpreting career, learning interpreting technique is a good beginning,
but it is just a beginning. Quite separate from the hours we spend repeating
simultaneous exercises and performing note-taking drills, we must learn how
to manage the people we encounter in order to interpret effectively. This is
what I term...” Read Athena Matilsky's entire NAJIT blog post
here, and comment/share you
thoughts on how you cope with being in the "people" business!
- November 13, 2015 - Today we welcome a post from guest author Catalina
J. Natalini on the NAJIT Blog, “Interpreter’s Liability”. She writes about
this issue when interpreting or translating standard forms. It is an
informative look at a complex issue. Read the entire entry
- November 6, 2015 - I'll never forget the day I felt
like relinquishing my interpreter badge and walking out a back door in total
defeat. Ever had a day like that? In retrospect, of course, I shouldn't have
taken it so personally; in reality the situation was doomed from the
Read Jennifer De La Cruz's entire NAJIT blog post here, and comment/share your thoughts on how you cope with the inevitable mistakes! Don't forget to catch up on past NAJIT blog posts here!
- October 30, 2015 – The Judicial Council of California
has issued a memorandum concerning the grace period for examination of
registered Farsi interpreters. Please click
here for the complete text.
- October 23, 2015 - The Blog Subcommittee, part of the
NAJIT’s Public Relations Committee, is seeking authors, editors and guests
posts. Please review the description of the committee in Kevin Mercado's
blog entry here and learn how
you can join the blog team! Don't forget to catch up on past NAJIT blog
- October 16, 2015 - Claudia Villalba serves on the NAJIT
Board of Directors and, until a few weeks ago, was the Supervising Court
Interpreter for the 7th Judicial Circuit in the State of Florida. She wears
many hats, but that is the nature of our professionals: Claudia is a
Federally Certified Court Interpreter, she is a Master-Level Approved
interpreter in the State of New Jersey, Certified Interpreter in the State
of Florida and an approved rater of state and federal court interpreting
exams by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).
Read the latest entry on the NAJIT blog, “An Interview With Claudia Villalba” by Giovanna Lester here, and comment/share your thoughts on NAJIT's dynamic Secretary! Don't forget to catch up on past NAJIT blog posts here!
- October 9, 2015 How many of you are familiar with SSTI?
Well, let me introduce you. SSTI stands for the Society for the Study of
Translation and Interpretation. It is the non-profit charity component of
the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators
(NAJIT). NAJIT was
created in 1978 to promote the highest ethical and performance standards in
the profession. Part of that was the development of educational activities
to further these standards among judiciary interpreters and translators
whose field experience ranged from completely inexperienced novices to
fully-vetted professionals. Read the latest entry on the NAJIT blog, “Let Me
Introduce You” by Janis Palma here
and comment/share your thoughts on this wonderful organization. Don't forget
to catch up on past NAJIT blog posts
- October 2, 2015 This fun, perhaps corny, poem comes
from the heart. I've been involved in various parts of conference planning
for our profession at this point, and I think each of us should have
conference committees on our minds. It is hard work to organize these
Read the poem and the rest of Jennifer De La Cruz's NAJIT blog post here, and comment/share your thoughts on conference planning and your favorite presenters! Don't forget to catch up on past NAJIT blog posts here!
- September 25, 2015 Read the latest
entry on the NAJIT blog, “Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire: How a
die-hard translator became a passionate interpreter” by Bethany Korp-Edwards.
I’m a perfectionist and an introvert. I’d be willing to bet a lot of
interpreters are (that’s a different post), but not as many as translators.
I loved translating from the time I heard of it, and like every other
idealistic liberal arts undergrad, I had romantic ideas of how I could
translate [ha] my love into a professional calling: I was going to be a
literary translator! My name would be as famous as Gregory Rabassa’s! Now
that you've all stopped laughing...
Find the entire blog post here, and comment/share your thoughts on what or who has inspired you professionally! And don't forget to catch up on past NAJIT blog posts here!