Main Conference Sessions

Main Conference Schedule: Saturday, June 12 & Sunday, June 13

Our sessions provide you with a multitude of educational options to learn new skills, expand your knowledge, and participate in discussions on current issues within the interpreting and translation professions. You will find a vast array of session options covering all levels of expertise.

All Saturday and Sunday sessions are open seating. You do not need to select your main conference sessions in advance. Continuing education credits are currently being submitted for approval. Check our CEU page for regular updates. NOTE: Sessions are subject to change.

All presenter biographies can be found here.

Saturday, June 12th, 2021

8:00 AM – 9:45 AM (EDT) – or Anytime!

Are you ready to Zumba?

Instructors: Mylene Green, Noel Guanzon and Danielle Achord
Level: All Levels
This pre-recorded Zumba session is available to all conference attendees no matter what package was purchased. The recording will be available for 30-days via the event platform. 

Zumba has been a tradition at NAJIT for many years and this year we are happy to offer this fun fitness program virtually.

This year, Mylene has invited two of her friends to join her Zumba class.  ZIN Noel Guanzon and ZIN Danielle Achord are both Zumba instructors in the San Diego area and they are ready to party with you!

Zumba is a Latin-inspired cardio fitness program. It combines Latin music (merengue, salsa,
cumbia, reggaetón, etc.) and international rhythms with dance moves. Zumba routines incorporate
interval training — alternating fast and slow rhythms — and resistance training.

All you need is work-out attire, water & a towel.

Zumba before sessions begin, after sessions, or both! Enjoy this fun workout and burn calories.

10:00 AM – NOON (EDT)

LOTS OF RESOURCES FOR LOTS INTERPRETERS

Presenter: Athena Matilsky
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Saturday, June 12, 10:00 AM – NOON EDT

Session Description: This workshop is intended for interpreters of Languages Other Than Spanish (LOTS). These are the interpreters who do not always have the luxury of ready-made interpreting practice tapes, complete with keys for complicated terminology. LOTS interpreters must be creative, thinking outside the box when it comes to study materials and finding resources. Attendees of this workshop will learn how to do just that. Among other things, they will learn the benefits of having a study partner when improving skills and/or preparing for certification exams. They will discover how to use language-neutral materials to create their own language-specific study exercises, and they will share information about trustworthy bilingual glossaries and dictionaries. Participants will come away with lots of LOTS resources, and they will be better prepared to meet their professional goals.

Objectives: Participants will obtain tools to access their own creativity in building resources for study in languages where materials are not readily available.

DISSECTING CONSECUTIVE

Presenter: Agustín Servín de la Mora
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Saturday, June 12, 10:00 AM – NOON EDT

Session Description: This hands-on, interactive session features practical skill building for the consecutive mode. Dive deeper into what makes a good consecutive interpretation through practice in note taking, visualization, and detailed self-evaluation. Be sure to BRING A RECORDING DEVICE AND HEADSET to fully take advantage of this class designed for intermediate to advanced level interpreters.

12:45 PM – 2:15 PM (EDT)

AN INTRODUCTION TO TABLETS FOR LEGAL INTERPRETERS

Presenters: Alexander Drechsel and Josh Goldsmith
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Saturday, June 12, 12:45 PM – 2:15 PM EDT

Session Description: This session provides an introduction to how legal interpreters can use tablets for their work. In addition to offering access to reference materials like dictionaries, glossaries and documents, tablets are a useful tool for preparing for an assignment. They can streamline note-taking and facilitate business-related tasks, like invoicing and accounting.  This allows interpreters to boost their productivity and get work done while on the road. This session provides an overview of some of the leading hardware and software on the market, and will give attendees a taste of how tablets can be incorporated into interpreting.

Objectives: Attendees will explore the basic principles of using a tablet for interpreting, including how to use a tablet for preparation, note-taking, and for business-related tasks.

WHERE LANGUAGE ACCESS AND ETHICS INTERSECT FOR PROFESSIONAL INTERPRETERS [ETHICS]

Presenter: Janis Palma
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Saturday, June 12, 12:45 pm – 2:15 pm

Session Description: Ensuring language access is a complex undertaking that many interpreters believe to be part of their function when it is not necessarily so. Language access advocacy and professional advocacy are too often intermingled as if they were one and the same. This session will address the meaning of language access within the legal framework of U.S. laws and regulations, as well as the ethical boundaries of the interpreting profession in the most common specializations found in the United States for both spoken and sign language interpreters: community/education, healthcare and legal/judiciary. The presenter will discuss the different ways in which language access and professional ethics intersect in each of these interpreting specialties, and how to focus professional advocacy efforts separate from language access advocacy efforts so as to remain within the specific parameters and boundaries of their applicable codes of conduct.

Objectives: Participants will understand what language access means, to whom it applies, and how it functions within a U.S. legal framework. They will be able to define ethical boundaries for ASL and spoken language interpreters in different fields: community/educational, healthcare, and legal/judiciary. They will identify when professional ethics allow for interpreters to engage in activities that advocate for language access and when they do not.

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM (EDT)

BÊTE NOIRE OF COURT INTERPRETERS: A VIEW FROM THE BENCH [ETHICS]

Presenters: Telia Mary Williams, ESQ. and Judy Jenner
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Saturday, June 12, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

Session Description: The critical importance of interpretation services to the courtroom, particularly in criminal proceedings, is indisputable. Qualified courtroom interpreters enable the courtroom and the parties (as well as other important courtroom participants, such as the judge and the jury), to understand and to perceive the testimony, or other important statements of a witness or party who does not speak English. Although no courtroom interpretation can ever realistically be perfect, there are certain actions or behaviors commonly or occasionally engaged in by courtroom interpreters that undermine the aim of this service. These unhelpful actions or behaviors, rather than assist the court and the parties to understand and to perceive the speaker, may hinder an accurate or fair understanding or perception on the part of the participants or the speaker. This can negatively impact court proceedings in a significant, albeit often imperceptible, way. In some cases, even seemingly minor unhelpful actions or omissions on the part of a courtroom interpreter may substantively alter the perception the court or other participant has of a litigant, or confuse the matter at hand, and, in grave cases, cause serious injustice. In this moderated talk, a judge who presides over dockets in which courtroom interpreters are frequently utilized will share her perspective on the most common bete noire, or pet peeves, that she has observed and experienced in utilizing courtroom interpreters and discuss possible negative effects of the same. She will also offer practical insights on how best to improve on them, or to avoid them altogether.

Objectives: The learning objective is for court interpreters to hear and understand how certain unfavorable, albeit inadvertent, acts or omissions that they may commit in the courtroom can adversely impact the proceedings, and how best to improve upon them, or to avoid them altogether.

THE NEW REALITY FOR PROFESSIONAL FREELANCERS --WHAT LIES AHEAD?

Panelists: Angie Birchfield, Esther Hermida, David Higbee, Tzol Lopez Beverly, and Madeline Rios
Moderator: Madeline Rios
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit*
Saturday, June 12, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT
 
*NOTE: This is a business session. Not all organizations will approve this for continuing education. Before attending, please verify the session was approved by your state.

Session Description: The Board of Directors of the newly founded American Alliance of Professional Translators and Interpreters (AAPTI) analyzes recent challenges for professional interpreters and translators in working on a freelance basis. California’s AB5 of 2019 led to significant loss of work opportunities for freelance interpreters and translators. Yet concerted efforts by individual freelancers, professional organizations, grassroots union members, and community groups were able to win major concessions for translators and certified/registered interpreters through the AB2257 in September 2020. This panel will analyze the role played by research, lobbying, bipartisanship, the focus on professional credentials, and cooperation among the various advocates in winning these changes. It will also discuss how freelancers, T&I associations, and AAPTI in particular are defending our profession. Finally, we will discuss copycat legislation being introduced at the national level through the PRO Act and in several other states, including NJ, NY, AZ, and how to approach these potential threats.

Objectives: To increase awareness of the recent history of legislation on independent contracting within the translation and interpreting profession, how translators, interpreters, and community allies organized to protect our profession, the future outlook, and approaches to continue protecting the communities we serve and professional practitioners.

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM (EDT)

TOWN HALL

LEVEL: ALL
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
PANELISTS: THE NAJIT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MODERATOR: AIMEE BENAVIDES, NAJIT CHAIR

Join the NAJIT Board and key committee chairs to discuss NAJIT and issues within the profession.

10:00 AM – NOON (EDT)

THINGS NEEDED TO PREPARE FOR A TRIAL, THAT MOST OF US DO NOT DO.

Presenter: Tony Rosado
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Sunday, June 13, 10:00 AM – NOON EDT

Session Description: Interpreting trials is complex and difficult, requiring thorough preparation before the assignment, and a high level of concentration only achieved when the interpreter fully understands not just what is happening at the trial, but why it is happening. This is only achievable when we know how to get ready: where to look for what we need. This session will cover the benefits of good preparation and clear understanding of what the lawyers are doing that participants can use to get ready for an assignment, and to explain to clients why an interpretation cannot be properly provided without the required documents and information about the case. The presenter will spell out the role of the interpreter at each of the stages of a court assignment, from self-evaluation before accepting a case to detailed preparation and performance during the trial. Mr. Rosado will talk about the tools interpreters may use to get acquainted with the details of a case, how to develop glossaries, what text books should be available during preparation and rendition, and how to be assertive when requesting the appropriate working conditions. Those attending will learn, through theoretical description and practical examples, how the best interpreters work. The participants will leave with the tools to advance their career as court interpreters.

Objectives: Interpreters attending the session will learn how to properly prepare for a trial by understanding the case they are about to interpret, learning the facts of the case, who the parties are, and the backgrounds of the litigants and expert witnesses. The presenter will discuss the ways interpreters can compile information, research a case, and distribute tasks among the interpreting team. Participants will learn what top lawyers expect from a successful interpreter and how to provide such services. Every interpreter coming to the presentation will leave a better professional.

FROM THE COURTROOM TO THE PRESS ROOM: INTERPRETING ELECTED OFFICIALS' HEALTH BRIEFINGS

Panelists: Vanessa C. Marcano-Kelly, Jackie Metivier, Yasmin, Metivier, Ernest Niño-Murcia, Leilani Padilla-Young, Naomi Todd-Reyes
Moderator: Ernest Niño-Murcia
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Sunday, June 13, 10:00 am – NOON EDT

Session Description: Interpreters and translators have played a vital role in making government announcements accessible to LEP populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The subject matter and the format of these assignments can be a daunting challenge for even the most seasoned court interpreter. In this session, hear tips and strategies for preparing to interpret public health content from the teams who have been interpreting live press briefings for governors in Iowa, New Mexico, and North Carolina. Other topics will include identifying and researching vocabulary, technical setup, and team interpreting. A presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, including questions from the audience.

Objectives: Participants will be able to define the communicative objectives of interpreting public health briefings and identify strategies to prepare for interpreting public health briefings, including vocabulary research and compilation, audiovisual setup, and deliberate practice.

12:45 PM – 2:15 PM (EDT)

ANALYZING CODED AND CIPHERED LANGUAGE IN LEGAL SETTINGS

Presenters: Dr. Rey Romero
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Sunday, June 13, 12:45 PM – 2:15 PM EDT

Session Description: Coded and ciphered language occurs in both spoken and written form in several legal contexts such as wiretap recordings, prison letters, and even court proceedings. Understanding the sources and mechanisms of coded and ciphered speech is extremely important to render it effectively into the target language. In this presentation, Dr. Romero will go over the differences between coded and ciphered speech, their role in criminal activities, their sources (sociolect, word play, metonymy, synecdoche, other rhetorical and linguistic devices), their mechanisms (syllable alteration, substitutions, cipher with key), and he will suggest possible ways to standardize these renderings in translation and interpretation contexts. Most examples will come from English and Spanish, but these concepts can be applied to any language combination.

Objectives: Attendees will understand the difference between coded and ciphered language, and will analyze the underlying mechanisms and sources utilized in coded and ciphered speech. Attendees will discuss the role of coded and ciphered language in criminal proceedings. Attendees will apply knowledge about coded and ciphered language to the interpretation and translation professions.

SIGHT FOR SIMUL

Presenter: Katty Kauffman
Language: Advanced
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Sunday, June 13, 12:45 PM – 2:15 PM EDT

Session Description: We’ve all been there: a lawyer walks in, hands us a copy of a document (a plea, a proffer, etc.) and says “I tend to read pretty fast, so I brought you a copy.” Great, you think. Now what? How am I supposed to listen to you, read this document and interpret at the same time? Attend this session and find out!

Objectives: Learning to skim a document for relevant content while interpreting simultaneously takes skill and practice. Attendees will learn –and practice– specific techniques that will help them identify key components of a text before interpreting and to scroll through it as it is being read — and interpret at the same time.

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM (EDT)

REMOTE SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETING - TAKING CONTROL OF WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL [ETHICS]

Presenters: Aimee Benavides, Tamber Hilton, Ernest Niño-Murcia
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Sunday June 13, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

Session Description: This session will teach attendees the mechanisms at play in virtual meetings used by courts and other parties in the legal and public sector fields. Some of the conditions are beyond the control of the interpreters; however, there are many other areas that are within the interpreter’s realm of control. Hearing protection, appropriate microphones and other equipment will be discussed. The dangers to the health of interpreters and to their careers are not to be taken lightly. The difference between acoustic shock and the damage that arises from pervasive bad audio quality will be discussed as well as reasonable measures that can be taken to protect against hearing loss. Additionally, the use of headphones and computers and the possibility of voice or eye strain will also be discussed. Attendees will be encouraged to share specific scenarios and anecdotes of situations that have occurred and the presenters will discuss what types of technological solutions can be used to improve those situations.

Objectives: This session is designed to help interpreters hear, look, and sound the best they can to enable them to succeed in the virtual environment. The dangers of acoustic shock and the even more insidious danger of pervasive bad audio quality will be discussed. Interpreters can protect themselves with the right equipment. Equipment alone is not enough to ensure a good experience; very specific client education is needed to ensure that full and complete interpretation is possible. The presenters will share their experiences (both good and bad) to help attendees approach courts, court administrators, and other parties with appropriate information.

BITCOIN FORENSICS

Presenter: Elda Ellis
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels
Earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credit
Sunday, June 13, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Session Description: This session allows the interpreter to visualize and understand the basic Bitcoin and wallets concepts applied in blockchain forensics, through the review of criminal and civil cases. By having a basic understanding of what Bitcoin and blockchain are, interpreters and translators will have the ability to develop a glossary to be used in this nascent prolific field, where the demand for their professional services is rapidly increasing.

Objectives: The interpreter will learn basic concepts and the forensic terminology associated with this nascent field. Attendees will be able to develop a glossary with the resources provided.