Within the past few years I’ve had the unique privilege of thanking someone who is among the most significant individuals in my life. It got me thinking about all the people whose influence has spanned decades and impacted the core of who I am, and...

Do your local, regional or state courts have a Language Access Plan (LAP) in place? A Language Access Plan, much as the name suggests, is a detailed description of the language related encounters and services an agency has in place in order to provide effective communication...

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...

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” Harry S Truman (attributed)

I have no earthly idea whether Mr. Truman actually said that, but it’s a good sentiment, isn’t it? Stop right now and think of three things you wish you knew. Me, I wish I knew how to play an instrument, how my car runs, and what my toddler means when he grins at me and exclaims, "Deeesssssssh!" (Seriously, folks, he's been doing it for a month. Anyone?)  Done! Three things in ten seconds. Unfortunately, when I talk to people about interpreter conferences—both ones they’ve attended and ones they decide not to—I frequently hear the same complaints. “There’s nothing for me there.” “I don’t need to know any of that.” “I’ve heard that all before.” And in fact, they may be right: maybe if you’ve been going to interpreter conferences for decades, there’s nothing being presented at most of them that you haven’t already heard. This year, NAJIT wants to change that. Our wonderful Conference Committee is putting together a special program for the 2015 conference in Atlanta. During each session, one presentation will be earmarked as relevant for interpreters who work primarily in education, and at least one will be earmarked as an “advanced” session.  “But Bethany,” you say, “Who is going to teach these advanced sessions?”

I know. The official name is “International Translation Day”. I changed it. I just have this thing about “interpreters” being included whenever anyone talks about “translators” and “interpreting” being understood as a part of “translation” in the title of such an important day. We all...