First off, I apologize to Robert Pollard for getting his name wrong last time! In any case, this will be the last entry in my “Time for a Paradigm Shift” series. But in the immortal words of Winston Churchill, “this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” I’ve spent the last six months laying out a framework for a new perspective on our field (and by “our field,” I mean interpreting as a whole and unique field); but unless we implement that perspective, it’s nothing more than a thought exercise. (And I, for one, would be disappointed if there weren’t practical implications as well, after all that.)

A quick review of teleological decision-making

In this series, I’ve introduced the concept of teleological [outcome-oriented] decision-making and the Demand-Control Schema. To review, this process requires that we:
  1. Be aware of our values as interpreters: accuracy, completeness, neutrality, professionalism, and so on.
  2. Recognize the demands being placed upon us in any given situation. What environmental, interpersonal, paralinguistic, intrapersonal, linguistic, and divergent factors are influencing the way in which we do our work?
  3. Identify the controls at our disposal. What are all of the things that we could do, regardless of whether or not we should do them?
  4. Be aware of the values of the context in which we are working. What is valued in a legal setting? A medical setting? A religious setting? A conference setting?
  5. Handle the demand(s) by applying the control(s) that best fits with our values as interpreters and those of the context in which we are working.

The following is the first of a two-part series on the importance of certification standards with a view toward achieving recognition of the interpreting field as a profession on a par with those already regulated and standardized in the United States. Part 1: Why Certification Matters Early...

By Barry Slaugther Olsen, Co-President, InterpretAmerica The word “technology” means different things to different people.  But when it comes to interpreters, the “T” word tends to conjure up all sorts of largely unfounded fear and denial. “Will I be replaced by a computer?” or “Oh, a computer...