Issue: 2020 Summer Volume XXXIII Issue No 2
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Editor's Corner

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: Proteus 2020 Summer Volume XXXIII Issue No 2

By Salua Kamerow

This issue was undoubtedly a small one. The pandemic brought for Proteus an unprecedented recession in terms of submissions but it increased our confidence in that quality is always better than quantity.

The pandemic impacted our lives, and it also affected our professions as translators and interpreters. Thus, Gloria M. Rivera put together a medical guide to understand the outbreak, the virus, and the illness with its repercussions. This guide will not only help us understand the virus medically, but it will also give translators and interpreters a sense of the pandemic terminology.

Sandro Tomasi, on the other hand, noted changes in the concept of preliminary hearings in New York and analyzed the terminology. He shares with us a short piece to understand what a preliminary hearing is and how the term is adopted in other countries.


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Meet the Editors

Editor-in-Chief of Proteus

Salua Kamerow is a Colombian lawyer, Master of Laws from Penn State University, and Master of Science in Translation from New York University. She grew up with Spanish, Arabic (Lebanese) and English, and currently she is working on her Modern Standard Arabic at Penn State. She is a freelance writer and translator and she lives in State College where she volunteers her knowledge and expertise for her community. She is an avid traveler rambling fearlessly around the world. She has two columns about travel, one in Spanish in KienyKe, and one in English in the Centre Daily Times. Follow her journey on Instagram @culozunga as she makes mistakes, so you don’t have to.

Editors of Proteus

Arianna M. Aguilar has a degree in communication and graphic arts. She honed her interpreting skills through hands-on experience and training in the legal, mental health, education, and childcare fields. She is a Master Certified Spanish Court Interpreter in North Carolina, and a Certified Medical Interpreter. Besides those certifications, she is an interpreter trainer and a published author. Her book “Mental Health Interpreting: Unique Challenges and Practical Solutions” is now available on Amazon.

Kathleen Shelly, a Delaware and Maryland translator and interpreter certified by the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts, has worked as a professional interpreter and translator for the past 20 years. She has a master’s degree plus doctoral work in Latin American literature from the Ohio State University and was a college professor for 12 years. A member of NAJIT since 2005, she has served as Secretary of the Board of Directors and a co-editor of Proteus, and always welcomes the opportunity to work to promote the interpreting profession. She is also a member of ATA, the Delaware Valley Translators Association and the Modern Language Association. She works currently as the contract staff interpreter for the courts of Sussex County, Delaware.

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Feature Articles

Translating Preliminary Hearing

By Sandro Tomasi

Courts throughout the country have suspended grand-jury proceedings to avoid confining a group of approximately two dozen people in a single room during the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure has increased the use of preliminary hearings in grand jury jurisdictions.

At a preliminary hearing, a magistrate judge (i.e., a lower-court judge) must find whether there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant charged in the criminal complaint committed it. During the hearing, the defense may cross-examine witnesses and introduce evidence of its own, although conventional wisdom in a “presumption of innocence” setting is that this procedure be used strategically to obtain discovery of the prosecution’s case and lay the groundwork for impeachment of the prosecution’s witnesses at trial. If probable cause is found, the magistrate judge must promptly require the defendant to appear for further proceedings; otherwise, the lower-court judge must dismiss the complaint and discharge the defendant. A discharge does not preclude the government from later prosecuting the defendant for the same offense. The term preliminary hearing is also termed preliminary examination, probable-cause hearing, bindover hearing or examining trial.


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Coronavirus for Translators and Interpreters

By Gloria M. Rivera

We are currently living in strange times in which a very tiny creature is endangering our lives and changing life as we know it. Many entities including schools, banks, hospitals and courts have had to change the way they communicate with the people they serve to help them deal with this unexpected coronavirus situation.

This is why we, translators and interpreters, must familiarize ourselves with the coronavirus and understand many things we may not have thought about since studying biology in high school. As this is a new virus and disease, there is not much information known about it; in addition, by the time you read this article, most of the information will have changed.

But, worry not, here is a summary of the basics.

Is a virus a bacterium?




Letter from the Chair

By Aimee Benavides

It is hard to believe that this Board’s term began only two short months ago. I am truly excited to report that the energy and enthusiasm among the Board members  is palpable. The Board is on a mission to make sure NAJIT is open and accessible to all members, encourages participation, and ensures NAJIT’s future growth by attracting new members and providing existing members with excellent reasons to stay and be engaged. This year has presented some very real challenges. 

The pandemic has affected the way we do business and the way we interact. It has changed the way our legal system functions, or as some may argue, has caused it to stop functioning as it should. These are issues that will have to be addressed in a responsible way and NAJIT is in an excellent position to do that. It truly warms my heart to see colleagues pulling together to help find solutions in very trying times, whether that means suggesting protective equipment, wireless setups, online platforms, or a combination of all of the above. At the time of this publication, the Board is in the process of issuing succinct recommendations to safeguard the welfare of interpreters as many courts begin the process of reopening.


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