Dear Interpreters: We Need You!

Stop the presses! The summer issue of Proteus is hot, ready to read and better than ever! I will admit that as the new editor-in-chief I am not exactly objective on the topic, so why don’t you take a look and see for yourself? This issue includes two brand-new columns (“Cracking the Code” and “Interpreters Everywhere”) along with a “Letter from the Editor” (written by yours truly). We also have excellent coverage of the recent NAJIT conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the regular feature articles, links, and more.

My goal as editor-in-chief is to allow the publication to facilitate connections across the country and even around the world, uniting interpreters of all languages. This issue, Dan DeCoursey describes the trials and tribulations of the interpreting profession in California. On the other side of the country, Robert Zemser is beginning a technology revolution in New Jersey, using laptops instead of notebooks for consecutive interpretation. Meanwhile, Denise Green is dealing with illicit videographers in the Hawaiian courts while she interprets American Sign Language, and Gio Lester, Portuguese interpreter, gives us some tips (and a few funny anecdotes) about studying terminology.

The old adage, “united we stand, divided we fall” stays ever true for interpreters. Every professional group needs an organization to support its members, promote them, and bring them together. Ours is NAJIT, and Proteus is our platform. If you haven’t paid your membership dues this year, I urge you to consider joining. The fee is a small price to pay for an organization of dedicated volunteers that raises awareness and impacts legislation. Our field is young and so is our organization, and the only way we can continue to grow as individuals is by supporting each other as professionals. There are still judges out there who don’t understand why the one interpreter assigned to a trial should have a certification, let alone a teammate. If that story sounds familiar, joining NAJIT can bring you the support you need to build awareness and ensure rights for LEPs and interpreters alike. On the other hand, if you work in a place where this is no longer the case, joining NAJIT is our way to pay it forward.

And so to my original point: Proteus plays an important role in helping us interpreters connect to and support one another. Our cherished newsletter is written for interpreters, by interpreters. We cannot go forward without you. Once you have joined NAJIT, please do sign in to this summer’s issue. Take a look at the articles, and use the comment feature to post your own responses. Then I hope you will consider contributing something yourself. We look forward to hearing from you, and to starting the presses again with our fall issue!

Interested in contributing? Send me an email:

  • Cracking the Code: Use the comment button to post your responses and to suggest key terms for next issue
  • How I Handled it: Submit a piece about a problem you had, and how it resolved (or didn’t!)
  • Interpreters Everywhere: Submit a piece about interpreting in your neck of the woods
  • New columns and feature articles: We are always looking for new articles and regular contributors. If you are interested, submit your idea today!

One thought on “Dear Interpreters: We Need You!”

  1. Gio Lester says:

    It is such an honor to be featured in Proteus along side my distinguished colleagues. Athena, great selection of articles. Thank you!

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