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It was one of those “deer-in-the-headlights” moments. The judge proclaimed, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!” and then looked at me, pointedly, to interpret. The courtroom was silent. It is hard enough to come up with a good equivalent without...

Just another day in court: trapped in the middle of a contentious divorce trial between two pro se parties full of rage and completely unversed in the rules of law and trial proceeding. After hours of arguing, Mrs. Divorcee calls her first witness: her 92-year-old...

Acrobatics: A metaphor for how to interpret with confidence and humility Those who know me outside of interpreting know that acrobatics (specifically partnered “Acroyoga”) is my not-so-secret other love. I am tempted to wax enthusiastic and convert you all to Acroyoga right here and now, but...

Maybe It Is Time to Make Friends With Spanglish …And Italish, Portugish, Haitian Creolish and any other language + English! It happened this way: Judge (English): “…mortgage…” Me (Spanish): “…hipoteca…” Litigant (No language): [Blank stare; look of incomprehension and confusion.] The question was repeated. All at once, understanding dawned and the...

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...