16 Aug A Call to Arms to All Interpreters
I just came back from the NAJIT convention in San Antonio this past weekend, and I’m glad to report that it was a great experience. It was so exciting to participate in so many interesting presentations, get to see old friends, make new friends and be able to add to my ‘interpreter bag of tricks’. But most importantly I came back invigorated and determined to put out a ‘call to arms‘ to all of our colleague interpreters that work in the courts every day. All judicial interpreters and translators must become members of NAJIT, our beloved association.
Every time I teach a seminar I invite everyone to join NAJIT and one of the questions I often hear in response is “what is in it for me”? My answer has always been the same: You get to be in the directory of services, read Proteus, you’ll receive a discount to attend the annual conference where you will increase your knowledge and understanding of this profession all while networking with other interpreters. Last but certainly not least, you’ll feel and become a part of a unified community that works towards better standards across the country and have lots of fun in the process.
Although these reasons I give are valid in my opinion, I understand that many of us feel that the association should do more for interpreters. The issues we face in this industry every day are still very present and the purpose of an associating like this one is to give us a voice, fight on our behalf, spread the much needed respect this profession deserves, demand for better pay rates etc. All of it tremendously important, but instead of feeling unrepresented and undermining the purpose of a unified group, let me paraphrase President John F. Kennedy and say: “Think not what NAJIT can do for you, but what you can do for NAJIT.”
Because if we join our colleagues and actively participate in the committees, if we abandon the position of waiting for “them to do something for us” and instead we do things for ourselves, if we agree that NAJIT is us and we are NAJIT then we will become the strong association we crave. In turn we will have a voice and we will be respected as a group of professionals united under one flag working towards the same goals.
So dear colleagues and friends, if you are already a member I challenge you to actively recruit for our association and make a commitment to bring at least two new members to the fold. I certainly will! And if you are not a member then what are you waiting for? Become one of us: A proud member of The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators.
[Agustin De La Mora is a Federally Certified Court Interpreter, President of DE LA MORA Interpreter Training Since 1998. Mr. de la Mora believes that interpreting is a key service to our society. That interpreters close not only the linguistic but also the cultural divide between citizens and country. The mission at DE LA MORA Interpreter Training is to provide affordable quality education backed by years of experience to individuals and organizations around the world. To learn more visit the website: www.interpreter-training.com]