There are big fish and little fish in a courtroom’s ecosystem. Judges are definitely the biggest fish of all. Interpreters? Well, that’s what I have been thinking about: where do we fit in the courtroom’s ecosystem? Throughout my years in this profession, I have encountered...

I know that many interpreters prefer the freelance world, and there are many successful freelancers working here in Arizona. This is my story and why I now have the second longest tenure as a staff court interpreter here in the state court in Phoenix. I didn’t...

Interested in contributing to our blog? The NAJIT Observer needs you! The shared experiences of other members of our profession can lift us up. A lot of what we do is done alone – a translator plugging away at a lengthy document or an interpreter preparing...

As judiciary interpreters, we often run into misunderstandings about our profession as a specialized skill. Unfortunately, in many arenas, the interpreting profession is an obscure concept. It’s surrounded by a halo of “anyone can do it.” You’ll also often hear the words “translator” and “interpreter”...

I was the little girl who loved going to school and begged her parents to put her in first grade when she was barely old enough to be in kindergarten. I was the little girl who had a lot more fun playing “office” than playing...

You may have heard of the ATA (American Translators Association) Certification Exam. It has been around for a long time, and it is recognized as a legitimate credential; passing it demonstrates that one is a competent translator in that pair of languages. In fact, for...

An agency that I have not worked with before recently got in touch, and we had the typical e-mail back and forth regarding compensation, cancellations, travel, etc. Here is that e-mail exchange.   To: Garrett From: LSP rep Subject: In-Person Spanish Interpreter on Upcoming Date Hello, Garrett. I’ve been given your contact...

There is a rather distorted perception held by some legal professionals about the role of interpreters in courtroom proceedings or even outside of court. They believe interpreters are tools, like a microphone or a laptop computer, things they can use for whatever purpose they have...

The Couch is a place to exchange ideas and brainstorm, not only for its contributors but also for our readers who engage in the ensuing discussions. Sometimes, if not everything is clearly laid out from the beginning, embarrassing and undesirable situations can follow. Thank you to...

Interpreters have many clients. I don’t mean who pays. I mean who is the beneficiary of your interpreting services. Yes, we do see whoever hires us as the “client,” but as a professional service, that is not the most precise way of defining a “client.”...