By Janis Palma ©2017 Yes, it’s a feather in our caps! Getting that letter saying we passed, congratulations you are now a certified interpreter, is a great feeling of accomplishment. Having those letters after our names, FCCI, CCI, USCCI, or whatever they may be, suddenly can...

From the Editor: TNO is putting its finishing touches on summer vacation. We bring this question back to your attention because it generated interesting responses from our readers. Hope to hear from more of you. For those joining us only this year, currently this feature is...

Kathleen Shelly penned this for The NAJIT Observer in 2012. It remains just as relevant today. Please enjoy. - By Kathleen Shelly © 2012 A couple of weeks ago I was driving home from an interpreting assignment listening to NPR radio, as is my custom. The program...

- By Athena Matilsky There are few things more off-putting than to hear an interpreter fill their delivery with um and uh, second-guess themselves, and interject side commentary. In real-life situations, this sort of delivery makes the listener tune out. On a test, it costs the...

We have another Guest Post. This time, our guest is Ryan Bridges a contributing writer and media specialist for the Presentation Training Institute. Ryan regularly produces content for a variety of business and presentation blogs, based around the transitional challenges which comes with communication and...

By Gio Lester © 2017 One of the reasons we love what we do is the impact it has on other people’s lives. We work to feed our passion for learning and helping others while we also put food on the table. Maybe the order should...

This article by Janis Palma was first published two years ago, almost to the date. It is a good reminder of the importance of proper terminology and the traps we face in our work - both translators and interpreters!
©Janis Palma- 2014
Beware of false friends! I don’t mean the people, I mean the words. 
One of the first impulses a young interpreter must overcome is the use of words that may, at first glance, seem to be equivalent terms and concepts in two languages... but are not. Taking that direct path from similarly-sounding words in our source and target languages is not always wrong, but part of being a good interpreter is knowing exactly when to take this path and when not to. In the rapid pace of judiciary interpreting, our brains may lean heavily towards cognates in source and target languages. Cognates are words with a common origin or etymology. True cognates, like “library” and “librería” in Spanish or “livraria” in Portuguese, with a common Latin root -- liber -- may come to have new and different meanings with usage and the passage of time. In this example “library” is a place where books are kept for people to read or borrow, whereas “librería” or “livraria” is a place where books are sold. So although they may be true cognates, these words have become false friends, or faux amis.

Okay, perhaps it’s a bit far-fetched to compare a courthouse to Shakespeare’s famous rose, but I have to admit that after months away from court (or, should I say,  du palais de justice…our francophone neighbors certainly have a way with words, don’t they?!) when I...

or How to Forget About Interpreting and Just Listen - By Athena Matilsky© You know how the saying goes: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. I’m sure you have heard it; we all have. But have you heard the saying for interpreters? No?...